The man accused of kidnapping a 9-year-old girl from a park in upstate New York was previously arrested and charged with choking someone in a 2017 domestic dispute, according to police records.
Craig N. Ross Jr. of Corinth, New York, was arrested on April 21, 2017, after police officers responded to a report of a "physical domestic dispute." Authorities determined that Ross "applied pressure on the throat of the victim during the altercation."
Ross was charged with criminal obstruction of breathing or blood circulation, a misdemeanor offense under the New York state penal code. He was arraigned at the Moreau Town Justice Court and "released on his own recognizance," according to the police records.
Ross now stands accused of kidnapping Charlotte Sena while she was on a camping trip with her family at Moreau Lake State Park in Saratoga County, roughly 50 miles north of Albany.
The frantic search for Charlotte drew national attention and put Saratoga County residents on edge.
New York Gov. Kathy Hochul said authorities were led to Ross after a fingerprint was found on a ransom note that had been left at the girl's parents' house.
Hochul said the fingerprint matched data related to a 1999 driving-while-intoxicated arrest in Saratoga.
In an interview Tuesday, one of Ross' neighbors claimed that he approached her grandson in her yard over the summer. She said she told police about the incident after Ross was identified as the suspect in Charlotte's kidnapping.
Carol Brown, 61, told NBC News that her 9-year-old grandson was weed-whacking in the yard when she heard her dog barking loudly and went to check what was happening. She claimed she saw Ross "standing over him."
When she asked the man what he was doing, she said, he claimed he was asking the boy for help with his weed-whacker. When she asked more questions, he started backing away and eventually "took off really fast down the road" on a white bicycle.
"The hair went up on the back of my neck last night when SWAT and everything came down our road," Brown said Tuesday, referring to Ross' arrest. "I knew it was the same person."