The Madison County Sheriff’s Office arrested a Watkinsville man on Monday, charging him with kidnapping, aggravated battery and robbery following an incident at Diamond Hill Grocery on Hwy. 29 South last Thursday. Craig Nicholas Lakins, 23, 1730 Wire Bridge Road, Watkinsville, was arrested at his place of employment in Athens-Clarke County yesterday, following tips received from lookout flyers that were e-mailed to various sources, including this newspaper, according to Captain Mike Benner.

Benner said a tip was received on the identity of a witness to the incident whose picture was also posted, and the witness, along with other tipsters, led investigators to Lakins.

According to the incident report, Deputy Scott Pulliam was dispatched to Diamond Hill Grocery on Aug. 7 regarding a theft by taking complaint. The store clerk told Pulliam that a white male had stolen two bottles of Mad Dog 20/20 wine and a bottle of Bud Light. The clerk stated that two white males had entered the store and walked around for a few minutes, when one man went to the wine cooler and took a bottle out before leaving the store with nothing in his hands. The clerk then went outside and confronted the suspect (Lakins) as he was getting into his white four-door Honda sedan. Lakins then allegedly reached into his pocket and held the bottle toward the clerk and when the clerk reached for the bottle, Lakins allegedly grabbed his arm and drove out of the parking lot, dragging the clerk along with him.

The clerk told the deputy that he was dragged for approximately 75 yards before breaking fee and falling to the road. The clerk sustained several injuries during the incident, including a wrist wound. The clerk told Deputy Pulliam that he had seen the man before, but could not identify him. A surveillance video of the men inside the store was provided to the sheriff’s office.

The clerk was transported to St. Mary’s Hospital in Athens.

The incident remains under investigation and no charges have been filed against the witness.

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