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Mentor Police Arrest Man Outside of Dr. Jacqueline Hoynes School

What began as an issue over child custody ended with an armed man's arrest

What started as an argument over a child's custody ended with the arrest of an armed man at about noon Tuesday outside of the Dr. Jacqueline Hoynes School building, which houses the Cardinal Autism Resource and Education School.

The man -- Armand Dinardo Jr., 46, of Mentor-on-the-Lake -- drove to the school with his teenage daughter at about 11 a.m., Mentor Police Lt. Ken Zbiegien said. He had taken custody of his daughter Monday, though he legally wasn't supposed to have her, Zbiegien added.

They went to the school to pick up the girl's cell phone from her mother, who worked there, Zbiegien said.

The child went inside the school while Dinardo remained outside. When the mother saw her daughter, she told she was staying with her and called the police, Zbiegien said.

When police arrived, they asked Dinardo to leave. However, he refused, saying he would not leave without his daughter, Zbiegien said.

Matters were further complicated because Dinardo, who has a permit to carry a concealed weapon, had a loaded gun and machete in his car, Zbiegien said.

When officers told him to leave, Dinardo said, "Things were going to get crazy," according to Zbiegien.

Meanwhile, the school was placed in lockdown and all of the students were moved to a secure location in the building.

"The school did a phenomenal job," Zbiegien said. "They did what they had to do for the safety of the children."

Next, officers tried to arrest Dinardo but he would not cooperate, Zbiegien said. He got in his car and refused to get out.

Police blocked Dinardo's exit so he could not leave. He then, with his hands in the air, slowly drove toward the officers, Zbiegien said.

Finally, after repeated warnings, Dinardo allowed himself to be arrested.

The school's lockdown was lifted after police took him away.

Nobody was hurt during the altercation and Dinardo was never able to enter the school.

Police have charged Dinardo with two felony counts of illegal conveyance of a deadly weapon in a school safety zone, inducing panic and criminal trespassing.

He is scheduled to be arraigned Wednesday morning in Mentor Municipal Court.

Christina Cottrell November 13, 2012 at 08:57 PM
My son is autistic, what a shame this happened, I fear a stranger anywhere near our son...but this case, a parent??? Thamk you mentor p.d. for all you do!
Julie Heil-Elliott June 11, 2013 at 03:31 PM
Wow, this is really nice, what kind of a lunatic drives around with a machete in his car? Did anyone hear about this? I didn't even really know this happened last year. Is this the old Reynolds School Building? What a terrible thing to do in front of your daughter.

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