I originally learned of this story from Fox 8 Cleveland (WJW) via their website: http://www.fox8.com/news/wjw-obama-man-arrested,0,928965.story (Note: The updated story is at http://www.fox8.com/news/wjw-president-ohio-man-txt,0,4781992.story?page=1)
Here is an excerpt of the story:
At about 2 p.m. Sunday, airport police saw McVey get out of a car and saw that he had a sidearm, airport police Capt. Kevan Smith said. He was using a handheld scanner and radio to monitor local agencies and told an officer in the Asheville airport parking lot that he wanted to see the president, Smith said.
McVey was nowhere near the president’s plane, and was in a rental car return lot that is open to the public, Smith said.
McVey’s car was equipped with police gear, including a siren box, a mounted digital camera and LED law enforcement-style strobe lights in the front and rear dash, Smith said.
“Everything they found on him, with the exception of a gun, he basically had all that when he was in Coshocton,” said Wise, of the volunteer emergency group. “He just basically liked to monitor police frequencies and listen to what’s going on.”
That’s common for the group’s members, though they are not authorized to have police sirens and lights or to break the speed limit on the way to emergencies, Wise said.
“He’s kind of a go-getter, and I know we had to kind of clip his wings a couple times and tell him he needed to watch what he was doing out there and slow down a little bit,” Wise said.
McVey had a camera in his car because he liked to chase severe storms and post video online, Wise said.
For about two years, McVey has been a member of a volunteer organization that assists the sheriff’s department with traffic control at emergency scenes, said Tim Wise, president of Coshocton County Radio Emergency Association Citizen Team.
When I read that the first time a few things stood out to me. I have highlighted those in the above excerpt.
Next I noticed this in one of the email newsgroups I am a member of. Basically somebody posted a different link to a similar article.
On Mon, Apr 26, 2010 at 10:40 AM, Jeff K. wrote:
Just wanted to pass this little nugget along. Evidently a REACT whacker from Ohio was arrested with a tricked-out car and a sidearm when Obama was in Asheville.
However, a few hours after the posting of the original email I noticed replies from Mr. Ed Greany and Mr. Stan Walters, both from the REACT International Board of Directors.
From: Ed Greany
Subject: Re: [GMRS] Fw: Re: [SoCal-GMRS] REACT whacker arrested in NC
To: [email protected]
Date: Monday, April 26, 2010, 6:41 PM
Mary, David, et al:
This person is a member of REACT and also a ham radio operator. TODAY, he is no longer a REACT member. We do not tolerate this behavior but unfortunately cannot ride shotgun with everyone who wears the REACT patch – as both of you well know.
We took action and he is GONE from REACT.
Ed Greany, Executive Vice-president
REACT International, Inc.
As a general rule, REACT HQ does not nor can it promote the use of any kind of lighting or responder type gear on members’ vehicles. The mission of REACT as a whole is to use two-way radio (and yes, you are correct that many teams including mine use GMRS) to save lives and property. Some teams have fallen into roles within their communities as responders of sorts, assisting local Sheriff’s Departments and fire departments with incident scene management including barricading roads, etc. I have visited with teams and team members who are “called out” by local responder agencies and if they have that kind of relationship and it is a valuable service and they use radios, good for them. Some states including PA allow motorists to display additional amber lighting on a vehicle as long as it is stationary under the definition of a “roadside assistance” vehicle and local hardware stores now stock and sell single amber-domed rotators as breakdown safety equipment. Again local and state laws are all different and one cannot assume that because you are under the jurisdiction of your county sheriff and he insists that you run amber lights when blocking a road in Ohio that you have the same privileges anywhere outside that county. I also do not believe that the normal duties of a REACT team member as a communicator would warrant carrying a weapon. Not that there is any reason a team member cannot go through proper legal channels to obtain the permits and licenses needed to do so, but it would not ever be a requirement of membership in a REACT Team.
Thinking of our radio equipment including GMRS HTs, it may have been a bit of a fright for law enforcement to see someone with so much communications and responder equipment. My guess he was listening to the airport tower or area departure control and probably not chatting on GMRS at the time. Strapping on his sidearm was obviously very poor judgement on his part. But going all out to call him a whacker may also be a stretch. He is quoted as having an interest in a law enforcement career and I hope that this incident will not ruin his chances as everything else about him, his school grades, activities in extracurricular groups, obtaining his Amateur license and being a REACT team member all point to a civic minded service oriented young man.
And although I have no lighting beyond factory on my vehicle, I have 4 antennas and a lot of safety gear including my CERT pack, a cache of MURS HTs, Turbo Flares, reflective triangles, wanded flashlights, battery hot shot, tire inflator, etc. One day I had a driver in downtown York PA motion for me to roll down my window which I did and he asked me if I could talk to Mars. I told him that was too far away but the moon was within range.
WQFD736, AB3EM, KIS5155
Director, Region 1
REACT International, Inc
Once again, you will find the parts of the email and both replies that caught my attention highlighted. I just though I should share this with everyone that hasn’t seen it yet.
Note: Some contents of this post may be subject to copyright of the original author(s). Content is posted here under “Fair Use”, see http://www.copyright.gov/fls/fl102.html.
If you have any questions, comments, complaints, etc. see http://www.w8jkc.com/contact/ for information on how to contact me.