PORTSMOUTH — Scioto County Sheriff David Thoroughman said an arrest had been made after an incident occurred at the New Boston Walmart over the weekend.
Randolph Victor Hockenheimer, 54, of New Boston, was arrested Monday by the Scioto County Sheriff’s Department after Hockenheimer was involved in a confrontation at the New Boston Walmart with a child predator catcher group based out of Indianapolis.
On Saturday, a video began circulating on social media about the incident that occurred at Walmart with Hockenheimer. In the video that was live streamed to Facebook by the group Predator Catcher of Indianapolis, viewers can see Hockenheimer in the movies department being approached by members of the group. When asked if he was looking for someone, Hockenheimer acknowledges that he was.
According to the group, Hockenheimer was allegedly at the store to meet an 11-year-old girl and her 19-day-old sister after having sexually explicit conversations online and arranging to have sex with decoys from the group. Once confronted by the group, Hockenheimer fled the store and was followed by the group to the sidewalk on Rhodes Avenue.
Due to the disturbance in the store, the New Boston Police Department was called and arrived on Rhodes Avenue. NBPD confronted the two members of the Predator Catcher group and stated that the group could not detain Hockenheimer and let Hockenheimer leave the scene.
In the video, viewers can see a verbal confrontation between the “predator catchers” and the NBPD where Lieutenant Jacob Emnett tells the group that if they tell Hockenheimer, he can’t leave, he will arrest them for impeding his exit.
One member of the group states to Emnett that he thought Hockenheimer couldn’t leave because of the investigation. Emnett replied that he was investigating the group for chasing Hockenheimer.
“Did you hear what he’s doing?” a member of the group asked Emnett.
Emnett asks if the group is part of law enforcement and stated that Ohio law states only law enforcement can conduct those operations.
After a few more minutes of heated conversation, the NBPD encouraged the group to contact the Scioto County Sheriff’s Department to investigate Hockenheimer’s alleged crimes.
Sheriff Thoroughman stated that detectives responded to the alleged suspect’s house located in New Boston, Ohio. Detectives seized several electronic items and obtained a search warrant for the items. Hockenheimer was arrested as a result of this investigation.
Hockenheimer has been charged with two counts of Attempted Importuning, a felony of the 4th degree, and one count of Disseminating Matter Harmful to a Juvenile, a felony of the 4th degree. Hockenheimer is currently being held in the Scioto County Jail on a $15,000 bond and will appear in Portsmouth Municipal Court Tuesday, March 15, 2022.
Sheriff Thoroughman stated that this is still an ongoing investigation that could result in more charges being presented to the Scioto County Grand Jury on a later date. Anyone with any information should contact Detective Sergeant Jodi Conkel at 740-351-1091
Reach Adam Black at (740) 353-3101 ext. 1927, or by email at [email protected]
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