Man arrested in Walmart stalking case
Waynesville police arrested a Candler man accused of posing as Walmart security, stalking an 11-year-old and asking her to remove her clothes Saturday.
Ryan Scot Davis, 48, was identified after detectives received several tips and leads from the public who recognized him from video surveillance photos.
According to police, Davis arrived at the Waynesville Walmart Saturday around 2 p.m. and walked directly to the toy and bicycle aisle.
He then proceeded to arrange merchandise in the store to create a private area and began following an 11-year-old girl around the toy section.
After stalking her for about 30 minutes, Davis pulled the girl aside and accused her of stealing. He then led her to the pre-arranged area and ordered the child to remove her pants and underwear for further inspection.
He is also pictured stroking her hair and face. When the child refused to comply with his demands, he allowed her to leave. She immediately told her mother who notified police.
A search warrant of Davis' home was issued Tuesday and he was arrested around 11:20 p.m. with the help of the Buncombe County Sheriff's Office.
Evidence was obtained from his home, although the type of evidence is not being revealed.
He is charged with second-degree kidnapping, indecent liberties with a child and assault on a child under 12 — all felonies. He was also charged with stalking, which is a misdemeanor.
Davis is a registered sex offender with three prior convictions in 2000 in Henderson County for almost identical crimes. He was released from custody in 2006.
Waynesville Police Chief Bill Hollingsed said the public helped with identifying the suspect so quickly.
"We had several people call us with the name of this individual, and we actually had family members of prior victims in the cases before call us and say, 'This is your guy,' so we feel pretty confident that we're on the right track here," said Hollingsed.
The woman who was with him when he arrived and left Walmart has not been charged with any crime.
Davis was placed under $100,000 secured bond and is scheduled to appear in court Dec. 5.
"I would like to thank and commend the victim in this case. Not only did she do the right thing in getting away from her offender there in the store that afternoon, but she's been an incredible witness through the whole thing," said Hollingsed.
The investigation is ongoing and detectives are asking anyone who has more information about Davis or has experienced a similar incident to call the Waynesville Police Department at 828-456-5363.