A 21-year-old Stow man was arrested this week after police said he dressed up as a sheriff's deputy and posed as an officer at three Manchester schools.
Ryan Worlow, a 2006 graduate of Manchester High School, was charged with impersonating an officer, possession of a deadly weapon and criminal trespassing, New Franklin police Sgt. Michael Korach said.
Worlow carried a handgun when he visited the three schools Monday dressed in Summit County Sheriff's Office attire, Ko rach said. He was arrested Tuesday by police and is being held at Summit County Jail on $50,000 bond.
Worlow, who is enrolled at Stark State College, identified himself as a deputy and interacted with students and staff at Nolley Elementary and Manchester middle and high schools.
Staff at the school thought Worlow looked suspicious and contacted authorities, Korach said.
Worlow was enrolled in an Ohio peace officer training program and worked as a security guard at the Chapel Hill Mall near Akron, Korach said.
School administrators praised school staff for acting on a hunch and calling police.
"It's just really upsetting," said Sam Reynolds, superintendent for Manchester Local Schools. "We knew him. It shows you with all the planning you do, you never know what is in someone else's mind."
The district is working with police and said officials would re-evaluate the district's school safety plan, Reynolds said. Korach said other details of the case - including how Worlow got the police uniform - are under investigation.
Ken Trump, a Cleveland-based national school safety expert, said he has only heard of a handful of similar incidents where someone dressed up as a peace officer to enter a school.
"The concerning news is that he was able to get a deputy's uniform," Trump said. "The good news is that the school officials were suspicious and followed their instincts."