CLEVELAND COUNTY, NC (FOX 46) - What’s being called an uncomfortable situation for one mother in a Cleveland County Walmart has landed a man behind bars.
Eric Richardson, 43, was arrested and charged with assault on a child under 12 after an encounter at the Walmart located on Dixon Blvd. in Shelby.
“He came up and he asked me, ‘Can I ask you a question? Where’d you get that cutie? What aisle did you get that cutie off of?’”
Tiana Langer had her 1-year-old daughter with her and says what happened next rubbed her the wrong way.
“He started rubbing on her, which is kind of weird to me, and then he put a grip on her arm and started pulling her and that’s when I like backed up. And he said, ‘Well, she can come home with me’ and I was like no we don’t go to strangers, do we Addy,” Langer said.
According to the police report, Richardson said, “I’m not a stranger. I’m just someone you don’t know yet.”
“That’s when I just backed up and I walked off and I went to the tax place. He didn’t follow me or anything he just kept going,” Langer explained.
She alerted Walmart managers and called the police but when they showed up Richardson was gone. The report says officers saw Richardson pick up another child on surveillance video but that parent did not appear concerned. Tiana pressed charges.
“Well, I waited a day. I was like I’ll think about it. And then I was getting messages and all the comments saying, he’s done this before it’s not the first time, so, I figured it’s not the last. So, I might as well, maybe it’ll teach him or something. Will stop him from doing it next time,” Langer said.
Richardson posted bond. FOX 46 Charlotte tried to track him down to hear his side but could not get an answer. This investigation remains ongoing.