Local News

Spring Lake man turns himself in to authorities

Posted August 30, 2014 9:50 p.m. EDT
Updated August 31, 2014 12:20 p.m. EDT

— A Spring Lake man who allegedly posed as a police officer, then sexually assaulted an 11-year-old girl, turned himself into authorities Saturday. 

Authorities said Nathan Lynn Cooley, 28, of 1317 Verlie Drive, approached the child Tuesday afternoon on Odell Road. Cooley, a registered sex offender, was in a vehicle and the girl was walking to a library from school, police said.

"Cooley told the victim he was a police officer and needed her help finding his dog," police said in a statement.

After luring the girl into his vehicle, Cooley drove to a wooded area and sexually assaulted the child, police said. After the child started crying and asking for her mother, Cooley dropped her off at the public library on Laketree Boulevard, police said.

The girl went home and told her mother, who contacted authorities.

The child was able to provide police with a detailed description of Cooley because she had seen him before, Spring Lake Police Chief Troy A. McDuffie said.

Cooley was being held at the Cumberland County Detention Center Saturday night under a $250,000 bond. He is charged with first degree kidnapping and indecent liberties with a child. He is scheduled to appear in court on Tuesday.