STANLEY, NC (FOX 46 WJZY) - Gaston County Police received a frantic 911 call out of Harper Park Saturday afternoon after a child came out of this bathroom saying a man took a picture of him.
“Dispatch, we need the police. We are at Harper Park in Stanley and some guy just took a picture of my nephew in the bathroom,” the caller can be heard saying in the 911 call.
“I’ve been here 20 years never had anything happen like this. everyone that was out here was devastated,” said resident Tug Deason.
Stanley Police say the suspect in the case is Christopher Hayes. They say he will be charged with child pornography, simple assault and other related charges, but they haven’t been able to find him yet.
“It hit us that a little boy in our community that had be violated that it should’ve never happened,” Deason said.
Deason tells FOX 46 Hayes hid in a stall, and after he photographed the boy, chaos then broke out as several adults chased Hayes to the parking lot and tried to restrain him until police arrived.
“It was pandemonium. It was one of those deals where you felt like you were in the old days where they weren’t any police. they were all trying to get him. Everybody was trying to scream and cuss at him and telling him to get out,” said Deason.
Hayes was able to drive away, but not before running over a coach's foot, and hitting a car in the parking lot.
“People chased him up the hill, we got pictures of him, got to his car, [took] pictures of his car and license plate etc. One of coaches got to him right when he was getting to his car and tried to jerk him out of the car and started beating on his window trying to drag him out of his car, and he ran over him, and when he was panicking to leave he ran into a car,” Deason said as he described the wild incident.
Police say Hayes is around 5’9” and is in his mid to late 30s. He was last seen driving a silver Kia Forte.
My message to him is we will find you and we will prosecute you and I will be there every day that it happens.