• Man accused of taking photos of 10-year-old in park bathroom arrested

    By: Ken Lemon


    GASTON COUNTY, N.C. - Police have arrested a man accused of taking photographs of a 10-year-old inside a bathroom at a Gaston County park over the weekend.

    Witnesses told Channel 9 the child chased the suspect out of the restroom at Harper Park in Stanley on Saturday.

    Police took out warrants against Christopher Hayes and arrested him Tuesday afternoon. 

    Christopher Hayes
    Christopher Hayes

    (Christopher Hayes)

    The 10-year-old said he called for help when he saw Hayes taking a picture of him.

    Gabe Taylor, the child's baseball coach, heard the boy scream for help.

    "He was strong enough to chase the man out and alert everybody to what had happened and I don't know many 10-year olds that would be able to do something like that," Taylor said.

    Witnesses said a group of people surrounded Hayes’ car but he sped off, running over a coach’s foot in the process.

    The group was able to give the vehicle’s license plate number to police.

    Hayes is charged with child pornography, secret peeping, and assault.

    "We want everyone to know if you think you want to come out here and do this at our park, we won't take it lightly,” Parks and Recreation director Tug Deason said. “We are going to make sure that you are brought to justice."

    The child's father left for a tour of duty with the U.S. Army a week earlier.

    Hayes was brought back to the magistrate's office Wednesday morning and got hit with two new felony charges -- secret peeping and indecent liberties with a child.

    Prosecutors said there could be more charges and more victims depending on what they find on a second phone found in his car and his computer.

    Hayes has no prior history of crimes against children.

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