Montevallo man charged with sexual assault of 10-year-old

By NEAL WAGNER / City Editor

The Alabaster Police Department arrested a 26-year-old Montevallo man Sept. 23 on charges of sexual abuse of a child younger than 12.

Police arrested Cornelius Nathaniel Atchison, of Overland Road in Montevallo, on the felony charge following a police department investigation.

Cornelius Atchison

The investigation began after an employee at the Target store in Alabaster’s Colonial Promenade shopping center called police on Sept. 17 to report the suspect “acting suspiciously” near a 10-year-old girl in the store’s toy section. The suspect then left the store before police arrived.

When officers arrived at the store, they began an investigation into the matter, said Alabaster Police Department Deputy Chief Curtis Rigney.

“There was physical contact. She was assaulted,” Rigney said. “We aren’t sure what was said, but he was able to keep her there isolated from her parents in the store.”

A Target employee contacted police again on Sept. 23 to report Atchison had returned to the store and was in the toy section. The suspect again left the store before police detectives arrived on the scene.

However, detectives went to the Alabaster Walmart store to try to locate the suspect. When officers entered the store, they located Atchison in the toy department and took him into custody after a brief foot pursuit.

“The Alabaster Police Department will aggressively pursue these predators of our children,” Rigney said. “This should serve as a warning to those who would prey on a child. We will find you, and prison is in your future.”

As of Sept. 27, Atchison was being held in the Shelby County Jail on a $30,000 bond.

Because police believe the suspect may have assaulted other children in the area, Rigney encouraged anyone who has seen Atchison, or whose children have come in contact with the suspect, to call the Alabaster Police Department at 664-6850.