The man accused of impersonating a security guard at a Walmart store in Waynesville on Saturday and then asking a girl to disrobe is a registered sex offender.
Investigators said the girl told officers that a man, who identified himself as a security guard, approached her and accused her of shoplifting. They said the man then led the girl into an aisle where he had arranged boxes to create a semi-private area.
Police said the man then told the girl to pull down her pants and underwear. They said that when the girl refused, the man then began asking the girl sexually explicit questions. Police said surveillance video showed that the man had followed the girl around the store for nearly half an hour before he approached her.
On Wednesday, police said they had arrested 48-year-old Ryan Davis, of Candler, in connection with the case.
Investigators said Davis was identified as the suspect after images from the surveillance video were released to the public. They said Davis was arrested at his home Tuesday night. He was charged with second-degree kidnapping, indecent liberties with a child and assault on a child under 12.
Davis is listed on North Carolina's sex offender registry. According to his entry, Davis was convicted of three counts of indecent liberty with a minor in 2000. Waynesville police revealed Wednesday afternoon that the incidents happened in Henderson County and they were "strikingly similar" in nature to the incident in Waynesville. Davis served nearly six years in prison for the crimes.
Hendersonville Police Capt. Bruce Simonds said Davis pretended to be a security guard at a local Walmart and Kmart in 1999. Simonds said Davis was charged in connection with three incidents and pleaded guilty to several counts including indecent liberty with a minor, assault on a child under age 12 and impersonating a law enforcement officer.
A Walmart representative said Wednesday night that they were "appalled" by the incident. They added that associates, including security, that come up to customers are trained to identify themselves, and customers can ask to speak to a manager at any time.
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