GASTONIA, N.C. (FOX 46 CHARLOTTE) – A 33-year-old man accused of several armed robberies and leading officers on a chase involving shots fired at police is charged with multiple felonies, according to the Gastonia Police Department.
Charles Cole of Gastonia is accused of threatening a man and woman during a robbery in front of the Law Office of Kelvin Atkinson on Dec. 17.
Detectives said a 40-year-old man and a 37-year-old woman were outside of the building when the suspect approached them.
The suspect showed them a handgun, threatened the victims and demanded their property, police said.
Police said the man’s property was taken and the suspect fled on foot.
On Dec. 29, police said Cole entered a restaurant on West Franklin Boulevard, threatened employees with a handgun and demanded cash from the business.
He stole the cash and then threatened a 67-year-old customer, stealing money from her as well, police said.
A few minutes after the robbery, Gastonia police officers spotted a truck matching the suspect’s description driving on North King Street at West Rankin Avenue and pulled it over.
During the traffic stop, authorities said Cole fired multiple gunshots at officers. Several rounds struck a police car. Officers returned fire on the suspect as he sped off.
The vehicle was spotted again 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, police said.
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.
Cole is being held on a $5 million bond.