GASTONIA, N.C. (FOX 46 CHARLOTTE) – A 33-year-old man accused of several armed robberies and leading police on a brief chase before firing multiple shots at officers is charged with multiple felonies, according to Gastonia police.
Charles Cole of Gastonia is accused of threatening a man and woman during a robbery on Dec. 17 in front of the law office of Kelvin Atkinson. Detectives said a 40-year-old man and a 37-year-old woman were outside the building when the suspect approached them.
The suspect reportedly showed them a handgun, threatened the victims and demanded their property. Police said the man’s property was taken and the suspect fled on foot.
On Wednesday, police said Cole entered a restaurant on W. Franklin Boulevard, threatened employees with a handgun and demanded cash from the business. He reportedly stole the cash and then threatened a 67-year-old customer, stealing money from her as well.
A few minutes after the robbery, Gastonia police officers spotted a truck matching the suspect’s description driving on N. King Street at W. Rankin Avenue and pulled it over. During the traffic stop, authorities said Cole fired multiple rounds at officers, with several hitting a cruiser. Officers returned fire as the truck sped off.
The vehicle was spotted again on Thursday parked in front of a home on N. Pryor Street. Detectives obtained a search warrant for the home, and Cole was found inside, along with evidence from the robberies.
He was arrested and charged with seven counts of robbery with a dangerous weapon, three counts of attempted first-degree murder, first-degree kidnapping, two counts of possession of a firearm by a felon and larceny of a firearm.
He is being held on a $5 million bond.