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CUYAHOGA FALLS -- A former Brook Park police officer was arrested after allegedly pointing a gun at another person and threatening to kill him.
City police officers responded at 5:13 p.m. June 6 to a parking lot of Home Depot, located at 325 Howe Ave., to a report of someone pointing a handgun at another subject during a verbal altercation. Upon officers' arrival, "the suspect had already left in his truck," according to the Falls Police report.
A description was dispatched and the vehicle was stopped on Second Street near Portage Trail. The driver of the vehicle, Ray J. Kopchak, 44, of Brook Park, was then taken into custody and charged.
Kopchak was charged with two counts of improperly handling firearms in a motor vehicle, a fourth-degree felony; one count of aggravated menacing, a first-degree misdemeanor; and one count of possession of drugs (marijuana), a minor misdemeanor.
Kopchak was a member of the Brook Park Police Department but his employment was terminated in 2014, according to Jennifer Sinatra, human resources commissioner for the city of Brook Park.
A video arraignment took place June 7 in Stow Municipal Court before Judge Kim R. Hoover. Kopchak was released from Summit County Jail the same day after posting a $10,000 personal recognizance bond. Kopchak acted as his own attorney at the arraignment, court records state. A message left for Kopchak's attorney, Fernando Mack, was not returned by press time.
Kopchak is scheduled to appear in Stow Municipal Court for a hearing on June 14 at 10:30 a.m. before Judge Lisa L. Coates.
Kopchak is self-employed and the owner of Pro Dry Wall, LLC, according to court and police records.
According to the police report, the victim said Kopchak nearly hit his wife, three children and their two friends with his truck while they were crossing the drive at Home Depot. After seeing this, the man ran toward Kopchak's truck and yelled at him, the report stated. Kopchak then got out of the truck with a gun drawn and pointed at his face, the man told police. Kopchak fled the scene but officers later pulled him over at Second Street and Old Town Loop. Police said Kopchak told them he "just had a maniac run at him at Home Depot and was afraid for his life and pulled his gun."
The police report included testimony from a third-party witness who said Kopchak showed no sign of fear or acts of self-defense.