Asheville Airport Police arrested Joseph S. McVey, of Coshocton, Ohio, yesterday afternoon after President Barack Obama had just departed the area. According to police, McVey said he wanted to see the President and was found listening to local law enforcement channels while carrying a pistol, with “rifle scope formulas” in his car.
In an announcement, police state they spotted McVey pulling his vehicle into a spot in the rental-car return lot.
“The vehicle was equipped with clear LED law enforcement-style lights in the front and rear dash,” the announcement reads. “This vehicle was unknown to the law enforcement officers present. The vehicle had a mounted digital camera in the front window, and four large antennas on the trunk lid.”
McVey exited the car wearing a sidearm — later found to be an XD40 handgun — and “appeared to be listening to a handheld scanner/radio which was attached to a remote earpiece.” Approached by police and Secret Service, McVey produced an Ohio driver’s license that law enforcement couldn’t verify.
According to police, when asked what he was doing, McVey “stated that he heard the President was in town. He stated that he wanted to see the President.”
A search of his car “determined that Mr. McVey was in possession of a police scanner and was monitoring some local agencies when he arrived. Under the steering wheel was a siren box that was in working order and a note with rifle scope formulas in the cup holder.”
McVey’s arrest took place after Air Force One had departed the airport.
McVey was charged with going armed to the terror of the public, a misdemeanor. He will have his first court appearance Monday, April 26. The investigation is ongoing.
— David Forbes, senior reporter