Police: Man arrested for 'bizarre behavior' at north shore gas station
SLIDELL - A man has been arrested after customers at a north shore gas station claimed he was harassing them with unusual behavior.
According to the Slidell Police Department, officers first responded to the Kangaroo Express gas station on Airport Road Saturday after they received a 911 call from a concerned mother. Police say the woman called after 41-year-old Samuel Cole licked his lips while looking at her 6-year-old son before kneeling down and rubbing his fingers across the boy's nose and lips.
The woman told police she grabbed her son and immediately ran out the store before reporting the strange encounter. Other witnesses told police that Cole was "making people uncomfortable by staring at them” as he stood at the entrance of the gas station.
Officers located Cole as he left the gas station in a vehicle and stopped him. Cole, who was a passenger in the vehicle, admitted to officers that he touched the boy on the nose, but denied the other allegations. Police say Cole continued to behave strangely as officers questioned him.
Cole was arrested and booked on one count of simple battery and has since bonded out. The mother of the victim told officers she plans to pursue charges against Cole.
Police also acknowledged that a version of this story went viral on social media, but alleged that the incident was an attempted kidnapping involving multiple people and different vehicles. Officers said there was no evidence to support that version of the story.