AKRON, Ohio – A man has been arrested and charged with impersonating a police officer in several communities in Summit County.
Sean F. Duffy, 48, was arrested and charged by the Springfield Township Police Department and Summit County Sheriff's Office after attempting to put police lights on his vehicle.
The auto mechanic at the shop called law enforcement after several parts of Duffy's story just didn't make sense.
"What got fishy is when he kept asking me to trade work," said Carl Brown, an auto mechanic at Auto & All Repair Shop in Akron.
But in the beginning, Brown says Duffy looked and acted like an officer.
Duffy was wearing a police badge, a police hat and was driving a police cruiser: a white Ford 2001 Crown Victoria Police Interceptor.
Also, Duffy had police gear and many weapons inside the vehicle.
“He’s got police bags, billy clubs, taser, handcuffs; I mean he had the whole works,” said Brown.
Brown said Duffy was asking about whether or not they did wiring on the car and he became irritated when Brown wouldn’t do the work.
“When I read his badge it said Kent State University on it. I said, ‘what’s the deal with the Kent State University badge?’ He said, ‘well I used to be a cop there,’” said Brown, to whom things were not adding up.
Brown contacted the Springfield Township Police Department.
The car came to the attention of the Summit County Sheriff’s Office days later when it was parked outside a grocery store in the community of Green.
“One of the shoppers happened to be a criminal justice instructor at Kent State. It turned out the plates were expired on the vehicle and it just became a part of the investigation at that point,” said Inspector Bill Holland.
Holland said in just the last week, Duffy has had multiple traffic stops and has identified himself as having been a former police officer and deputy to actual officers.
The Summit County Sheriff’s Office said Duffy also had a Facebook page on which he identified himself as being affiliated with an organization called "Lost and Found K-9 Search and Rescue," the owner of a company he called "Stardust Investigation & Protective Services," a former Kent State police officer and a former sheriff’s deputy.
“He had been traffic stopped four times in the past week by different agencies. One time he said he was a retired Summit County sheriff’s deputy, another time he claimed he was a retired Canton police officer and he had been to the Canton Police Academy, neither of which is accurate,” said Holland.
Investigators said Duffy has never had any formal police training and has never been employed as a law enforcement officer in the state of Ohio.
That made shoppers at the Green Giant Eagle uneasy.
"It's pretty scary," said Kevin Atkinson.
Raquel Burns said, "He's that clever and has that much time figuring out ways to take on the role of a police officer."
He was arrested on Tuesday and charged with impersonating a police officer.
Wednesday he was released on bond. Fox 8 attempted to contact Duffy at the address given on the police report but the residents said he had not lived there in some time.
Now investigators want to know if his actions ever went beyond a simple disguise.
“If he has taken any overt actions to make any type of an arrest or police type actions on someone, that’s what we are trying to find out now,” Holland said.
Authorities want to hear from anyone who may have had an encounter with Duffy that was suspicious.
Contact the Summit County Sheriff’s Office at 330-643-2147.