Athletes banned from bar under investigation

Kelsey Henninger

Robin Hood probed for underage drinking

Student-athletes were advised to stay away from the Robin Hood long before undercover agents began their investigation last weekend. Athletes were also told to avoid the Bar’N before it closed in mid-February.

In an e-mail to student athletes sent out in November, the athletic department asked athletes to “stay away” from The Bar’N and The Robin Hood because of “ongoing concerns.”

Owner’s case moved to Ravenna court

The charges of resisting arrest and obstructing official business against the owner of the Robin Hood are still pending.

Scott Imhoff, 35, of Canton, was charged Sunday, the same night undercover agents from the Ohio Department of Public Safety witnessed two people under the age of 21 knowingly possessing and consuming beer at the Robin Hood, located at 503 E. Main St. Another arrest for the sale/furnishing beer was also made the same night.

Imhoff’s case has been moved to Ravenna because his attorney, Kevin Poland, requested a different judge to hear the case. Imhoff was scheduled to be arraigned in Kent yesterday morning. The date for Imhoff’s new arraignment has yet to be set.

“My client has been working with Kent to battle the issue of underage drinking,” Poland said. Poland said Imhoff was asking to see identification from patrons when he was charged with obstruction.

Imhoff could not be reached for comment.

– Kelsey Henninger

The athletic administration said the Kent State and Kent City Police departments advised it about the concerns.

Associate Athletics Director Jennifer Kulics said the e-mail was distributed because of “activities that have transpired at (these) locations.” The activities she refers to are student arrests.

Director of Athletics Laing Kennedy said the department follows police reports and public records.

“We see patterns where things are happening and we do not discriminate against certain places, but these places (named in the e-mail) are not the best places for our student-athletes,” Kennedy said.

In the e-mail sent to athletes, the athletic department requested separation from these locations to help athletes “avoid any situations that may negatively impact you, your team or our department.”

Kennedy said the athletic department expects coaches to help enforce policies about athletes’ behavior.

John Peach, director of public safety at Kent State, said he was unaware of the advice in the e-mail.

“I would think the concerns would address issues you wouldn’t want any students to be involved with – not just athletes,” he said.

Kent Police Lt. Jayme Cole said he could not comment on the e-mail because he is unsure who relayed the information.

Cole said the Kent Police Department is not conducting the investigation of the Robin Hood, but the Investigative Unit for the Ohio Department of Public Safety is.

Julie Hinds, public information officer for the Investigative Unit, said there have been four complaints about the Robin Hood since March 2008. Complaints can be filed by anyone and are anonymous.

Two of the complaints were unfounded, meaning there were no violations when agents responded.

Two people were arrested for underage drinking at the Robin Hood in October after the Ohio Department of Public Safety received another complaint. The final complaint sparked the current open investigation.

Contact public affairs reporter Kelsey Henninger at [email protected].