An employee of the security firm that screens entrances to the Lake County Building and Courthouse in Waukegan was arrested and jailed Thursday after bringing a plastic novelty gun through a screening station and allegedly making a threatening gesture to a court security officer.
Richard McDaniel, 46, of Round Lake Beach, entered the Washington Street secondary entrance about 12:20 p.m. Thursday and got past screeners with a roughly three-inch cigarette lighter in the shape of a gun, according to Chief Brian Keller of the Lake County Sheriff’s Office.
McDaniel then touched a court security officer’s throat with the gun and said, “See, I could have shot you,” according to police.
He was immediately taken into custody and has been charged with aggravated battery, a Class 2 felony. He also faces an aggravated assault charge, a Class A misdemeanor. He was still in jail Friday afternoon on $100,000 bond.
Keller said representatives of U.S. Securities, the screening firm at the County Building, said McDaniel’s employment was terminated immediately following the incident. A second employee who may have known McDaniel had planned the act was also terminated, Keller said.
The cigarette lighter was primarily plastic but may have included a small metallic part near its flint, Keller said.
In a statement to investigators, McDaniel apologized for the incident and said what he had told the security officer was, “Look what I got in. You are out of here.”
Police said McDaniel worked as a screener at one the county’s branch courts, not the Waukegan courthouse where the incident took place.