NORTH RIDGEVILLE — The manager of airport security at Cleveland Hopkins International Airport is facing criminal charges for allegedly masturbating outside a local tanning salon and making obscene phone calls to Tan City and other area tanning salons.
John Dialinos, 45, has been placed on unpaid administrative leave from his $64,000-a-year city job while the case works its way through the court system, airport spokeswoman Jackie Mayo said Friday.
Dialinos, who lives in North Ridgeville, was charged with public indecency and two counts of telephone harassment earlier this week after an investigation by North Ridgeville police that focused on calls to Tan City, Tru-Tan and Xtreme Tan that date as far back as last year.
North Ridgeville police Lt. Greg Petek said officers first learned about the calls in December, when a tanning salon manager complained her staff had received several sexually charged calls.
Petek said the caller would start out the conversation asking legitimate questions.
“Then he would get into making lewd remarks talking about his genitalia,” Petek said.
Tanning salon workers also reported hearing moaning and heavy breathing during the calls, he said.
Police set up a system to track the calls and traced the obscene ones back to a prepaid, disposable cell phone that was in the area of the salons when the lewd calls were made, Petek said.
Police also had a description of a man in a light-blue older-model Mercedes-Benz seen parked near tanning salons, Petek said. The man, now identified as Dialinos, was seen several times, including Dec. 19, when he appeared to be masturbating outside Tan City on Center Ridge Road, although he drove away before police arrived.
Adam Scavnicky, owner of Xtreme Tan, said his employees, some of whom are in high school, would receive calls from private numbers and no one would be on the other end of the line. He also said his workers would see a man in a car sitting near the salon watching them.
“I’m glad they caught him for the benefit of everybody,” Scavnicky said. “Nowadays you don’t know what’s going to happen … It’s scary stuff.”
Petek said the trail went cold until Aug. 27 when a worker at Tan City spotted the car and called police. The driver of the vehicle drove off before officers arrived, but police found the vehicle parked near Tru-Tan on Center Ridge Road.
When he was approached, officers said that Dialinos’ pants were unzipped and that he could not provide a legitimate reason why he was parked there.
Petek said police also found three cell phones in Dialinos’ car, including a prepaid phone with a contact list that consisted solely of tanning salons in the western suburbs.
Dialinos declined to speak with officers, Petek said, and he wasn’t immediately arrested. But a check of the prepaid cell phone found in the car matched up to calls made to tanning salons in the area between February and August.
He said another phone was used to make the obscene calls between August 2011 and January, although police can’t tie Dialinos directly to the phone used earlier. The investigation showed that phone was only used to call tanning salons.
The phone in Dialinos’ car was linked to two harassing calls made to North Ridgeville tanning salons Aug. 25, Petek said.
He said North Ridgeville police intend to notify law enforcement agencies in other cities where Dialinos appears to have made calls to tanning salons as well.
Mayo said the airport was notified by North Ridgeville police about the investigation into Dialinos on Aug. 30, and he was placed on leave the same day.
She said the airport intends to cooperate with the investigation.
Dialinos, who was given an FBI background check before he started at Cleveland Hopkins in December 2008, is in charge of issuing employee identification badges and oversees compliance with federal security regulations at the airport, Mayo said.
Dialinos is free on bond and due Wednesday in Elyria Municipal Court. He did not return calls seeking comment Friday.
Contact Brad Dicken at 329-7147 or email@example.com.