OOLITIC, Ind. – A Muncie man faces multiple charges in Lawrence County after police say he followed a mother and daughter at a Dollar General store before trying to lure the child into his car.
The incident happened Sunday evening at a Dollar General store on Hoosier Avenue in Oolitic.
The mother told police she and her daughter were shopping when 39-year-old Charles Copley followed them down the aisles, according to court documents.
The woman saw him coming down an aisle next to hers and commented that her daughter’s shoes were loud. Copley responded that it was OK because they were the only ones in the store and “he was following her,” according to court documents.
The woman and her daughter tried to create some distance from Copley, but when they went to the register to pay, he followed them. Copley paid for some items and then left, although he soon returned to the store. The woman paid for some items and exited the store, rushing toward their van because Copley had made them uncomfortable.
The mother got into the van as her daughter entered the van’s side door. She said Copley then made a “beeline” straight for her daughter; she shut the van’s sliding door using a button at the front.
Copley then got right up against the driver’s side window and yelled. At one point, he tried opening the door.
“Hey, little girl, I got something in my car for you,” he said, according to court documents. “I have a TV in my car I want to show you. Come see the TV in my car. It’s perfect for her room.”
The daughter started screaming; the woman put her van in reverse, hitting Copley with her side mirror as she backed out. She said Copley then pulled out a knife and walked straight at her van. The woman had to stop momentarily for oncoming traffic but was eventually able to drive off.
Security footage from the Dollar General showed Copley walk toward the van and attempt to open the driver’s side door, according to court documents.
Police detained Copley at a gas station. They recovered a knife, which appeared to match the one he’d used during the incident. Investigators also found evidence of cocaine use and said Copley had tried to hide a small bag of marijuana in his mouth, court documents said.
He’s charged with kidnapping, intimidation, possession of a narcotic drug, possession of marijuana, unauthorized entry of a motor vehicle and driving while suspended.
Copley has previous convictions for dealing cocaine, according to court records.