He was dressed to impress. Or at least to convince.
There was the black hat with FBI emblazoned on it, a microphone and FBI pin affixed to his lapel, a clear earpiece tucked into his right ear.
None of it convinced a northeast Ohio grocery store employee that the man he was talking to was actually a federal agent.
The badge didn’t do it, and neither did the identification. Authorities allege the man also raised his arm a couple of times and spoke into his sleeve — presumably to the six other federal agents he said were in the store’s parking lot.
All of this led the Broadview Heights, Ohio, Giant Eagle employee to become suspicious and call police.
The man, identified as Toledo’s own Dean Lyden, 28, of 5565 Airport Hwy., is charged with two counts of impersonating an officer in two communities.
Mr. Lyden was arrested June 3, and his case referred to the Broadview Heights Mayor’s Court. The case was then transferred to Parma Municipal Court, where bond was set at $1,000, with the option to post 10 percent cash.
According to a clerk in the Parma court, $100 was posted and Mr. Lyden is to appear in court again Wednesday for arraignment.
On Monday, Mr. Lyden turned himself in to Richfield, Ohio, police for impersonating an FBI agent at a Giant Eagle on March 26, village police said.
Mr. Lyden is scheduled to appear in Akron Municipal Court on Friday for the Richfield incident.
Police in Richfield said Mr. Lyden wore the same type of outfit when he went to the manager’s office at the grocery store and said he was investigating a case of counterfeit cash — only of the $50 and $20 denominations.
The counterfeit money, he said, had turned up at a local bank. He even gave the store manager a description of a suspect, police said.
Counterfeit money cases are generally handled by the Secret Service.
Police who responded to the Giant Eagle in Broadview Heights asked Mr. Lyden if he was a member of law enforcement. Mr. Lyden allegedly confessed, telling the officer he was living out a “childhood fantasy,” according to a report.
Before police arrived, Mr. Lyden reportedly told the store employee he was at the store looking for a man and woman who might be altering their appearance.
Police determined the ear piece and microphone were plugged into Mr. Lyden’s phone — he was listening to a police scanner, either online or through a downloadable app.
An officer searched the suspect and found an empty gun holster, a collapsible baton, and a small flashlight.
Inside his BMW, he had a dash-mounted strobe light and a hand-held spotlight, the report states.
Mr. Lyden reportedly told police he’s done this in several other cities; Toledo police Sgt. Joe Heffernan said there was nothing to suggest Mr. Lyden has locally impersonated an officer.
Contact Taylor Dungjen at:
419-724-6054, or on
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