Gastonia, N.C. - December 31, 2021 - Detectives from the Gastonia Police Department (GPD) have arrested and charged Charles Thomas Cole, age 33, of Gastonia, with multiple felonies, including the December 29 attempted murder of three Gastonia Police Department officers. Cole was arrested yesterday evening at a residence in Gastonia.
The following incidents were investigated by GPD detectives who suspect were committed by Cole:
- On December 17, GPD officers responded to a law office located in the 100 block of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Way for the report of an armed robbery that just occurred. The investigation determined that the adult male victim and the adult female victim were outside the office building when the suspect approached them. The suspect displayed a handgun, threatened the victims with the gun, and demanded property. The suspect stole property from the male victim and fled the area.
- On December 29, GPD officers responded to a restaurant located in the 2000 block of W. Franklin Boulevard for an armed robbery that had just occurred. Responding officers determined that the suspect entered the restaurant, threatened employees with a handgun, and demanded cash from the business. The suspect stole cash from the business and then threatened a 67-year-old female business customer. The suspect stole money from this victim as well.After this robbery, the suspect fled the business and was last seen entering a dark-colored Dodge Ram truck that was parked in a nearby parking lot and then driving out of the area. Officers at the business provided a description of the suspect’s truck to additional officers who were in the area. A few minutes after the robbery, GPD officers observed a truck matching the suspect’s description driving on N. King Street at W. Rankin Avenue. GPD officers activated their emergency equipment to initiate a traffic stop on the truck. The truck stopped on N. King Street prior to W. Rankin Avenue. During the stop, the suspect fired multiple rounds at officers with several of those rounds striking a marked GPD police car. GPD officers returned fire on the suspect. After officers returned fire, the suspect sped off in the truck. Officers attempted to pursue the truck but could not locate the suspect’s vehicle.
On December 30, the suspect’s vehicle was located parked in front of a residence on N. Pryor Street. GPD detectives responded and obtained a search warrant for the residence. During the search warrant, investigators located Cole and evidence from the robberies inside the home.
Cole was arrested and charged with the following:
- Seven counts of robbery with a dangerous weapon
- Three counts of attempted first-degree murder (government officials)
- First-degree kidnapping
- Two counts of possession of a firearm by a felon
- Larceny of a firearm
Cole is being held on a five-million-dollar bond.
Statement from Chief Brittain Regarding Arrest of Charles Cole:
“We are thankful for the peaceful arrest of Mr. Cole. The incidents leading up to his arrest show the dangers that our officers face. We appreciate the support of the public and dedication of our staff.”