4 men charged in police impersonation ruse
A YouTube prank gone bad has landed four men in jail, charged with impersonating a police officer at several residences in DuPage County, authorities said Friday.
Corey Abendroth, Thomas Kozie and Luke Halstead, all 19, and 22-year-old Khoung Dam of Carol Stream each have been charged with five counts of false impersonation of a peace officer.
Kozie is being held on $35,000 bail and has been ordered to wear a GPS monitoring device if released. Halstead is being held on $20,000 and is to be fitted with a GPS. Abendroth is being held on $7,500 and also must be fitted with a GPS. Dam was charged later Friday, and his bail was set at $4,000.
All four were ordered not to have contact with one another and are prohibited from having contact with several individuals, many of whom they encountered during their prank.
Abendroth, of the 26W100 block of Harrison Street near Wheaton, is the subject of a stalking/no contact order, prohibiting him from having contact with an elderly couple, their adult child and 3-year-old grandchild living in Wheaton until Oct. 7, 2020. The case is impounded, so the reason for the order is unknown.
Abendroth also pleaded guilty to an ordinance violation of possession of drug paraphernalia in Wheaton in August.
Halstead, of the 1N500 block of Turnberry near Winfield, is on bail for a misdemeanor domestic battery case from April 21.
Prosecutors say at 10:05 p.m. Monday, Kozie, of the 900 block of Fair Oaks in Oak Park, approached a house near West Chicago, rang the doorbell and identified himself to the homeowner as Jeff Rushmore, an investigator with the Winfield Police Department.
Kozie told the homeowner he was compiling a missing-person report regarding a neighbor two doors down. After briefly speaking to the homeowner, Kozie entered a vehicle occupied by Abendroth, Halstead and Dam, who were filming the exchange, and left, authorities said.
After the encounter, the homeowner called the DuPage County sheriff's office.
Later that night, the three men went to several homes in West Chicago, Wheaton and Winfield, authorities said. At each one, Kozie rang the doorbell and identified himself as a police officer, using different names while the others waited in a vehicle filming, authorities said.
"The allegations against these three defendants are very serious and will be handled appropriately" DuPage County State's Attorney Robert Berlin said.
Arraignments are scheduled for all four men: July 8 for Halstead, July 9 for Abendroth, July 10 for Dam and July 11 for Kozie.