Officers were called to Wal-Mart Friday afternoon when a woman with five children passed a note to the service desk clerk, begging her to call the police because she was being held hostage.
According to reports from the Covington Police Department, the woman first approached the greeter and told her that she was in danger and that her husband, later identified as 23-year-old Charles Chadwick Griffin, was “being abusive and holding her captive.” She then passed a note to a clerk at customer service that said “please call police, need help.” Authorities were quickly called to the store.
When officers arrived, they were met by store employees who were able to point out Griffin. They approached the man and attempted to speak with him near the vision center. When he learned why they were there, he allegedly became irate.
Around that time the woman and her five children came out of the bathroom, and when Griffin saw her, he began to yell and walk toward her, according to reports. Officers and Wal-Mart staff stepped in front of Griffin at that time and officers grabbed his arm and “told him to calm down and step away from her.”
Griffin reportedly jerked free from the officer and ran out one side of the entry/exit doors of the store, then ran back in on the other side. Officers saw him coming and were able to instruct the woman to take her children and get inside the security office. Officers gave Griffin commands to stop and threatened to use a Taser on him if he did not comply.
Despite the threats from officers, Griffin allegedly continued to run at his wife. Officers placed themselves in front of her and one of them pushed him away, causing him to fall into the entrance door, according to reports. Griffin once again was ordered to stop, at which point he reportedly turned and looked at officers, then grabbed a customer and pulled her in front of him as if he were using her as a shield, but in the process merely caused her to fall.
Officers took the opportunity to deploy their Tasers which struck Griffin, causing him to fall, allowing officers time to handcuff him. Griffin reportedly threatened officers, saying he was going to “get them.” After securing him in a patrol car, officers then spoke with his wife.
She reportedly told them they were newly married and separated. She said that he had returned home two weeks ago and got mad at her that day because the father of her five children had called her. She allegedly said that she came to Wal-Mart in an attempt to get away from him “due to his violent temper.”
After being transported to the Newton County Detention Center, Griffin was placed in a restraining chair due to his combative behavior, according to reports. He reportedly told officers that he had run because there was a TPO and a parole/probation warrant out on him. After checking, officers found that there was no warrant or current TPO on Griffin.
He was charged with simple battery, obstruction of an officer and terroristic threats.