SLIDELL, LA (WVUE) - On July 22, Slidell Police responded to a call about a man who was acting strange at a gas station on Airport Road.
A woman told officers that she was standing in line at the Kangaroo Express with her two children to check out, when a man, identified as 41-year-old Samuel Cole of Picayune, licked his lips at her 6-year-old son, knelt down, and ran his finger down the boy's nose and across his lips.
The woman grabbed her children, ran out of the store, and called 911. According to witnesses, Cole allegedly continued his strange behavior as he was "making people uncomfortable by staring at them" while he stood at the front door of the gas station.
Slidell Police officers located Cole leaving the gas station in a car 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. Even while interacting with officers, Cole was still acting erratically and strange. The mother of the 6-year-old boy decided to pursue charges against Cole for simple battery for the unwanted touching of her son.
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. Slidell Police thoroughly investigated this incident and could find no evidence that there was any intent of an attempted kidnapping, other vehicles being involved, or any other people involved.
"As always, we caution people from jumping to conclusions based off of non-official information posted on social media," said Slidell Police Public Information Officer Daniel Suzeneau.
Cole was booked into the Slidell City Jail on one count of simple battery, and has since bonded out.