Crime & Courts

Police arrest man in Lincolnton toe-sucking case

Lincolnton police have arrested a man in connection with the alleged toe-sucking case this week at a Wal-Mart store.

Michael A. Brown, 31, of Concord was taken into custody Thursday night and charged with misdemeanor assault on a female.

The arrest came several hours after police released a surveillance photo of the suspect leaving the store. Investigators say a police officer in the Stanly County town of Locust recognized Brown from the surveillance photo.

The story had generated national attention.

Brown is listed as a registered sex offender in North Carolina. Lincolnton police said Friday that Brown was charged with similar crimes in the past.

North Carolina prison records show Brown was convicted in February 2001 in Cabarrus County of second-degree sex offense and served three years in prison. He was also convicted in January 2013 in Stanly County on a misdemeanor charge of assault on a female.

Lincolnton police said the alleged toe-sucking incident took place about 11:15 a.m. Monday at the Wal-Mart store on North Generals Boulevard.

Investigators said a man entered the store, approached a woman and said he was a podiatry student. The two began a conversation, police said, and the man talked the woman into trying on several pairs of shoes.

At one point, police said, the man held the woman’s foot, put it in his mouth and sucked her toes.

The woman told police she thought the suspect was a Wal-Mart employee. The woman also said that after the alleged toe-sucking, she became upset and the suspect offered to pay for her groceries.

The woman then contacted store employees, who called police, according to investigators.

Related stories from Charlotte Observer