BY CHUCK VANDENBERG
WEST POINT – A teacher in the Van Buren Community School district was apprehended by Canton, Missouri police Saturday and charged with felony weapons and drug charges.
Adam James Hardin, 37, who owns property in West Point, was arrested after he allegedly demanded a ride from a Culver-Stockton student from Canton to West Point, at one point brandishing a semi-automatic pistol.
Canton police officials said the incident is still under investigation and could be turned over to Iowa law enforcement depending on when and where Hardin allegedly produced the weapon. Hardin was arrested for unlawful use of a weapon and possession of a controlled substance. Hardin was released after posting $2,500 on $25,000 10% allowed bond.
Hardin is currently listed on the Van Buren Community School district’s website as physical education and health instructor at the Van Buren Middle School.
According to a probably cause document, Canton police were called to a fraternity house on Culver-Stockton’s campus at 7:35 p.m., where a student informed police that Hardin had made him transport him back to West Point where a cooler was placed in the toolbox of the pickup truck the student was driving. The two then returned to the frat house.
Hardin was arrested after the student filed a complaint with police. When he was taken into custody, the probably cause report shows a loaded Walther PPX semi-automatic handgun was found in the truck, and 98 grams of marijuana in multiple containers were recovered as well.
Canton Police Chief Ryan Crandall said the investigation into the case is still open and could result in other law enforcement agencies filing charges depending on where the weapon was produced.
Crandall said the student told police he was the designated sober driver and confirmed transporting Hardin to his residence in West Point. According to the report the student said Hardin produced a gun and set in on a console in the pickup and said “this is for you to listen and not tell what we’re gonna do.”
He said the student also told police there were no weapons or drugs in the vehicle before he picked up Hardin.
West Point Police chief Brad Roberts said he has not been involved in the investigation to this point and said he believed Hardin lived in Van Buren County, but owned property in West Point. According to the Lee County Assessors office, Hardin owns a home at 203 Avenue C in West Point.
Lee County Sheriff Stacy Weber said his department has not been involved in the investigation to this point.