By Brandon Addeo
Updated Mar 14, 2019 at 10:13 AM
SANDUSKY — A Norwalk man has been indicted by an Erie County grand jury on three felony charges.
Charles Houghtland, 23, of 13 Grand Ave., is accused of holding a knife against a Sandusky convenience store cashier during an attempted robbery in February.
He was indicted on charges of aggravated robbery, felonious assault and tampering with evidence.
Sandusky police responded to Variety Village on East Market Street at about 6:15 p.m. Feb. 6 after a cashier reported an armed robbery, according to a Sandusky police report.
The cashier said the suspect, who she described as boy between 15 and 18 years old, ran out of the store after the alleged robbery attempt, the report states. She said the suspect entered the store and brought two Tootsie Rolls to the register and put some change on the counter.
Once the cashier opened the register, she said the suspect jumped onto the counter and put a knife against her side, demanding money, according to the report. She said she stepped away from the suspect and closed the register’s drawer as the suspect allegedly reached for money inside.
The suspect then ran from the store, the report states.
Officers, with assistance from Perkins police and the Erie County Sheriff’s Office, began to search the area with police K-9s, according to the report. The dogs followed a track to an East Washington Street building, then to Franklin and Adams streets.
Meanwhile, store employees reviewed security footage and learned the suspect was in the store earlier in the day.
Police found the suspect, identified as Houghtland, and another man standing on East Adams Street, the report states. Officers said Houghtland was the same man on the store’s security video.
Police said Houghtland’s face was bloody and he wore different clothes that he allegedly wore during the robbery, according to the report.
Houghtland told officers he was assaulted but the man he was with wasn’t involved. He initially claimed he was 17 years old, but later admitted he was actually 23, according to the report. He denied committing an armed robbery.
Police arrested Houghtland and found a silver folding knife in his pocket, the report states.
Houghtland asked police to get his bag of clothes from a nearby apartment. Officers got the clothes, which they said were the same tan pants and grey hoodie he wore during the alleged robbery, according to the report. Police charged him with evidence tampering for allegedly changing and hiding the clothes he used in the alleged robbery.
Police also found blood on the stairway to the apartment and took DNA samples, the report states. A resident told officers Houghtland and another man got into an altercation, and the other man left the area.
Officers took Houghtland to Firelands Regional Medical Center to have his injuries treated.
He has remained in the Erie County jail since his Feb. 6 arrest.