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 “, McVey wrote that his hobbies include “shooting, fishing, hunting, piano, trumpet (and) voice.”

On the site, 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.”


8 Responses to “Armed Man Driving Fake Police Vehicle Arrested Near Obama’s Plane”

  1. Norman on April 26th, 2010 10:47 am

    If police investigation discover these guys intended to harm the president, they have a real terrorist plot and should pursue it to its ultimate source. Then the proper authorities should move with full force against the plotting group in full view of the public. Show us what they can do to those who intend to harm our society. I am not an Obama blind supporter but evidence shows that execution of such plots destroy a society. If someone want change, it must be done orderly, not by assassination.

  2. j3161usa on April 26th, 2010 11:53 am

    This boy needs to be monitored–for real! 23 years old playing cop—please! If he really wants to be a cop I am CERTAIN, there is a spot for him on the force. But anybody that age running around playing cop instead of chasing girls, having a little fun, and doing a hard days work—must be monitored. The next time we hear about this guy, it may be too late!

  3. rothschilde on April 26th, 2010 12:16 pm

    This is the most biased piece of reporting I have ever seen. First the guy wasn’t driving a fake police car. Second, it wasn’t retrofitted with lights and a siren. He did have a “portable” red light…just like most volunteer firefighters and medics have so they can get to a scene quickly.

    Last I checked it is NOT illegal to carry a police scanner in NC. REAL news outlets have corrected the “fake drivers license” part of the story. It wasnt (but makes for good hysterics).

    He is licensed to carry a handgun.

    This guy was most likely a volunteer firefighter who had a scanner listening to the air traffic frequencies and carried a side arm to protect him from liberal crazies like this reporter.

    This case will quietly be dropped. I DARE you to report that…but then you probably wont be able to read the press release without it being fed to you.

  4. NinaK on April 26th, 2010 12:24 pm

    Toting a gun and stating he had heard President Obama was in town and wanted to see/talk to him? How bright is this guy? The police were not taking any chances in what this guy had planned although the President and Air Force One had departed about 30 minutes earlier. Looks like this guy had some kind of intention/plan but arrived at the airport 30 minutes after the President departed. It is frightening to think what might have happened!! One simply does NOT tote a gun when wanting to see/talk to the President! Again, how bright (or stupid) is this guy? Am glad the President is safe and sound and I thank God he left the airport before the guy got there.

  5. Chris B on April 26th, 2010 12:31 pm

    Firstly, if the car he was in was the maroon Grand Prix in the photo there, then LOL. That looks nothing like a police car. It’s a car with a bunch of antennas on it, like most ham radio people have. My own car has 3 antennae on it.

    The lightbar is because he’s in SKYWARN, which is the tornado chasers weatherspotting group. Lots of skywarn volunteers have a yellow light bar that they turn on when out in very bad weather chasing storms when visibility is low.

    Yellow flashing lights are legal in most states. Everyone’s car has some form of them already. They’re called “hazard lights”.

    I feel bad for this kid. He’s a ham radio guy, and went to the airport to listen to the radio traffic, which is always pretty busy whenever there’s a lot of law enforcement is together in one place.

    As for the handgun, he wasn’t doing anything wrong, and possessed it legally.

    This case is going to be dismissed at the first hearing. Shame on the DA for even bringing it.

  6. [Americas] Did he want to kill Obama? on April 26th, 2010 12:51 pm

    […] but yeah, very creepy. Also an interesting study in how easy it is to see you 'Net-print. This article had a bunch of stuff from his online presence, and I saw another that I can't find ATM that had a […]

  7. Janey on April 26th, 2010 1:15 pm

    “one count of going armed to the terror of the public.”

    What the heck kind of charge is *that* ?! Sounds like something they just made up!

  8. Name on May 16th, 2010 12:02 pm

    He was also arrested in WV in 2006 for pulling people over with a blue light. Is this part of SKYWARN or just being a kook.

    A wannabe with a gun and very bad judgement.

Got something to say? **Please Note** - Comments may be edited for clarity or obscenity, and all comments are published at the discretion of - Comments are the opinions of the individuals leaving them, and not of or its partners. - Please do not spam or submit comments that use copyright materials, hearsay or are based on reports where the supposed fact or quote is not a matter of public knowledge are also not permitted.