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Police: Security guard threatened officer with novelty gun in courthouse

Richard McDaniel, 46, of Round Lake Beach

Richard McDaniel, 46, of Round Lake Beach

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.

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