Police last month arrested a North Augusta man accused of touching a toddler in the Knox Avenue Walmart.
According to reports, North Augusta Public Safety officers charged Chris Gruber Jr., 51, with disturbing adults and children. The complainant — the toddler’s relative — said Gruber rubbed the 3-year-old boy’s head without asking for permission to touch the child. Afterward, the relative reportedly confronted Gruber, and the two men nearly fought.
Both adults were shopping at Walmart on Feb. 20. According to reports, Gruber left soon after the incident. Police found him near the pharmacy entrance.
Gruber told officers he tousled the boy’s hair but only after the toddler touched his arm. The suspect said he later apologized to the boy’s relative, who confronted him. The complainant pressed charges because Gruber allegedly touched the 3-year-old’s head to the point of “messing up his hair.” The suspect’s affection was unwanted, the complainant said.
While handcuffed, officers said Gruber complained of chest pains and was taken by ambulance to Aiken Regional Medical Centers. Doctors cleared him for booking into the Aiken County Detention Center.
Gruber is a repeat offender with a lo history of arrests for public drunkenness, shoplifting, trespassing, disorderly conduct, gross intoxication and domestic violence, according to Aiken County jail records.