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Man jailed under $5M bond on charges of attempted murder on 3 officers, armed robberies in Gastonia

Charles Cole is being held on a $5 million bond.
Charles Thomas Cole, 33, has been charged with seven counts of robbery with a dangerous weapon,...
Charles Thomas Cole, 33, has been charged with seven counts of robbery with a dangerous weapon, three counts of attempted first-degree murder (government officials), first-degree kidnapping, two counts of possession of a firearm by a felon and larceny of a firearm.(Gastonia Police Department)
Published: Dec. 29, 2021 at 7:42 PM EST|Updated: Dec. 31, 2021 at 6:01 PM EST
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GASTONIA, N.C. (WBTV) - Police have charged a man with the attempted murder of three police officers, along with multiple armed robberies in Gastonia.

Charles Thomas Cole, 33, has been charged with seven counts of robbery with a dangerous weapon, three counts of attempted first-degree murder (government officials), 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.

Police say Cole shot at police officers after armed robberies in Gastonia on Wednesday. Cole was taken into custody Thursday evening. Police say he was found at a home on North Pryor Street and was arrested without further incident.

On Dec. 29, Gastonia police officers responded to an armed robbery at the Waffle House on West Franklin Boulevard around 6:30 p.m.

Officers determined that the suspect went into the restaurant, threatened employees with a handgun, and demanded cash from the business.

Police say the suspect stole cash from the business and then threatened a 67-year-old female customer of the business. The suspect stole cash from this victim as well.

Investigators are releasing surveillance photos of the male suspect and the vehicle that the...
Investigators are releasing surveillance photos of the male suspect and the vehicle that the suspect was operating and are asking for the public’s help in identifying him.(Gastonia Police Department)

After the robbery, police say the suspect fled the business and was last seen getting in a dark-colored Dodge Ram truck that was parked in a nearby parking lot and then driving out of the area.

A few minutes after the robbery, Gastonia police officers saw a truck matching the description driving on North King Street at West Rankin Avenue.

The truck was pulled over on North King Street prior to West Rankin Avenue. During the stop, police say the suspect fired multiple shots at officers with several of those rounds hitting a marked police car.

Gastonia police officers returned fire at the suspect. After officers returned fire, the suspect sped off in the truck. Officers tried to pursue the truck but could not locate the suspect’s vehicle.

The suspect’s vehicle is described as a four-door Dodge Ram truck that is black on the top half...
The suspect’s vehicle is described as a four-door Dodge Ram truck that is black on the top half and silver on the bottom half. The truck has multiple stickers on the back window, including a United States Marine Corps sticker. The truck’s left taillight does not work, however, the left brake light does work.(Gastonia Police Department)

There were no injuries reported as a result of this shooting.

Detectives believe that Cole also committed the Dec. 17 armed robbery outside an office building on Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Way. Around 7 p.m. on that day, GPD officers responded to the Law Office of Kelvin Atkinson for the report of an armed robbery.

On Dec. 30, the suspect’s vehicle was located parked in front of a residence on North Pryor Street. Gastonia detectives responded and obtained a search warrant for the residence.

During the search warrant, investigators located Cole and evidence from the robberies inside the home.

Officials provided a statement from Gastonia Police Chief Travis Brittain regarding the arrest of Charles Cole.

“We are thankful for the peaceful arrest of Mr. Cole. The incidents leading up to his arrest show the dangers that our officers face. We appreciate the support of the public and dedication of our staff,” Brittain said.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Detectives at 704 866 6939. Residents may also call Crime Stoppers of Gaston County at 704-861-8000.

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