AKRON -- The Summit County Sheriff's Office was contacted by court personnel April 6 in reference to an individual impersonating a police officer, with a handcuffed child in tow, and attempting to gain entry into a juvenile county courthouse with a firearm.
Christopher S. Hendon, 26, of Akron has been arrested and charged with four counts of illegal conveyance of a deadly weapon into a courthouse, a fifth-degree felony; four counts of criminal trespass, a fourth-degree misdemeanor; and four counts of impersonating a peace officer, a third-degree felony.
SCSO Inspector William Holland says Hendon was turned away once at the Summit County Jail and several times at juvenile county court houses as he attempted to represent himself as a "resource office" with the "Scared Straight Program."
Hendon remains in Summit County Jail. Police are trying to identify the children involved in the four separate incidents, asking the public if they are aware of Hendon's "Scared Straight Program" and to contact the Summit County Sheriff's Detective Bureau at 330-643-2131 with information.
"The suspect had a child in handcuffs with him [each time] and the suspect claimed to be a resource officer working as a part of a 'scared straight program,'" an April 25 release form the sheriff's office states.
The sheriff's office conducted an investigation with the assistance of the Akron Police Department. During the course of the investigation, investigators identified the suspect as Hendon. It was determined that on four occasions, Hendon attempted to gain access to a county courthouse while dressed in tactical police attire and carrying a firearm.
The Summit County Sheriff's Office and Akron Police Department executed a search warrant at Hendon's Akron residence April 24, seizing a handgun, a simulated firearm, handcuffs, law enforcement equipment, a tactical vest and items labeled with police insignias.
It was determined that Hendon is not a certified peace officer in the state of Ohio and it appears the "scared straight" program may have been a rogue program headed by Hendon, Holland said.
-- Compiled by Editor Andrew Schunk