MEDINA — A 31-year-old man pleaded not guilty Thursday to robbing a man he forced from a vehicle at gunpoint while identifying himself as a state trooper.
Jesse Hodges, of the 700 block of Medina’s Weymouth Road, is charged with aggravated robbery, robbery, kidnapping and impersonating a police officer. If convicted, he could face 11 or more years in prison.
“He had a shirt on that would have identified him as a highway patrolman, and he had a badge around his neck,” said Medina County sheriff’s Captain Kenneth Baca. “So the victim in this situation would have certainly thought this man was a patrolman.”
Baca said Hodges stole $50 from the driver, a 24-year-old Brunswick man, at about 9 p.m. on May 4 at Goddard’s Car Wash, an automated service at 1252 Medina Road in Sharon Township. Hodges wielded a BB gun during the robbery, according to his May 21 indictment.
“The victim was a stranger who just happened to be there at the wrong time at the wrong location,” Baca said, adding the case is still under investigation.
Medina County Common Pleas Judge James L. Kimbler set Hodges’ bond at $50,000. Hodges was being held at the county jail on Thursday afternoon.
Kimbler appointed Medina attorney Bob Campbell to represent Hodges and scheduled an Aug. 11 jury trial.
This isn’t Hodges’ first time in Medina County courts.
He was convicted in 2010 of felony and misdemeanor theft charges and was convicted of heroin possession and trafficking in 2005.