Armed Man Driving Fake Police Vehicle Arrested Near Obama’s Plane
April 26, 2010
(ChattahBox)—As President Obama and the First Lady prepared to board Air Force One after a weekend trip to Asheville, NC, law enforcement officials arrested a man armed with a handgun. The man was sporting a strapped-on handgun and he was driving a car made to resemble a police vehicle, retrofitted with strobe lights, scanners and sirens. The man, 23-year-old Joseph McVey, a resident of Coshocton, Ohio, told police he wanted to talk to President Obama. Other reports indicate he wanted to see Air Force One take off. Police say the President was never in any danger.
According to court papers, McVey was also in possession of a note with information on rifle scopes. When police nabbed him, he was in the Asheville Regional Airport’s public parking lot, talking on a handheld radio attached to an earpiece and monitoring local law enforcement frequencies.
It’s also been reported that McVey handed a fake driver’s license to police. McVey was charged with one count of going armed to the terror of the public. He is being held in county jail on a $100,000 bond.
Airport police Capt. Kevan Smith told reporters additional charges against McVey are pending.
McVey’s Online presence, shows a young man who is a a HAM radio enthusiast, using the call sign K8JSM. He may also be a citizen weather reporter for SKYWARN, a National Weather Service program.
According to the Citizen Times, “On his YouTube account, McVey has favorited more than 100 videos, including multiple law enforcement-related videos and one that allegedly shows U.S. soldiers accidentally killing civilians in Iraq.”
And on “policelink.monster.com, McVey wrote that his hobbies include “shooting, fishing, hunting, piano, trumpet (and) voice.”
On the site qrz.com, MvVey wrote, “Generally my antennas sit at the bottom of the rear windshield, on the front lip of my trunk, and this provides for some directionality towards the front of the vehicle.” “This enables me to help increase signal strength when necessary,” he added.
McVey is scheduled for a court appearance on Monday.
Photo Credit: Max Henkell/Asheville Citizen-Times
(Update: McVey appeared briefly in court “via video today in Buncombe County District Court.” “McVey is being held on $100,000 secured bond and there is a federal hold on his detainment. During the brief appearance, James Mills, an Asheville lawyer, said he had been talking with McVey’s family and they asked to retain his services.” The Ohio HAM radio enthusiast faces a maximum sentence of 120 days in prison.
(Further Update: “Based on the airport police report, it appears that McVey pulled into the rental car parking lot about a minute after the president’s plane left. His appearance provoked curiosity, because his car was loaded with police scanners and antennas. He had flashing police-style lights and a siren. And he was carrying a sidearm.” He had a license to carry a weapon in Ohio, which may be reciprocated in North Carolina. “McVey gave authorities an Ohio driver’s license, but a computer check failed to show the number was valid, police said.”
(Further Update: McVey liked to hang around police and has aspirations of becoming a cop. “For two years, McVey has been a member of a volunteer organization in his home area that assists the sheriff’s department with traffic control at emergency scenes, said Tim Wise, president of Coshocton County REACT, or Radio Emergency Association Citizen Team.” “He just basically liked to monitor police frequencies and listen to what’s going on,” added Wise. But “members of the organization are not authorized to have police sirens and lights or break the speed limit on the way to emergencies, Wise said.” However, McVey’s “car was equipped with clear LED law enforcement-style strobe lights in the front and rear dash. The car also had a mounted digital camera in the front window, four large antennas on the trunk lid, and under the steering wheel was a working siren box.”