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(April 26) -- An armed man impersonating a police officer was arrested at the airport in Asheville, N.C., as President Barack Obama's plane prepared to take off, authorities said. He told officers he wanted to see the president.

Authorities said they stopped Joseph Sean McVey on Sunday afternoon after he was spotted carrying a gun, according to The Asheville Citizen Times. He had just gotten out of his car, which was parked in a rental return bay near a gate that leads onto the runway. Air Force One was reportedly taxiing when McVey was apprehended.

AP
Joseph Sean McVey, 23, was charged after authorities spotted him with a gun in a North Carolina airport parking lot as Air Force One was departing Sunday.
"They searched him and it looked like he had an empty pistol holster on his side, and I think I heard one of [the officers say] he had had a gun," Max Henkel, a resident who was at the airport to see Obama's departure, told the newspaper. "When I realized what was going on, I was flabbergasted."

Police and the Secret Service questioned McVey and removed his Springfield XD 40 handgun, Airport Police Capt. Kevan Smith said. McVey, 23, of Coshocton, Ohio, was charged with going armed in terror of the public, a misdemeanor. However, investigators have yet to determine whether he was attempting to target the president.

McVey is being held at Buncombe County jail on $100,000 bond. An official at Asheville court told The Associated Press that McVey would appear before a judge today.

Security had been boosted at Asheville as Obama was flying out of the airport after a brief vacation to a memorial service in West Virginia for the 29 coal miners who were killed in an explosion earlier this month. Police emphasized that the president had never been in any danger.

Smith told the AP that when McVey was arrested, he had been listening in to local law enforcement agencies via a handheld scanner and radio. On being asked for identification, McVey handed over an Ohio driver's license, but a computer check showed the number was invalid, authorities said. When an officer asked him why he was at the airport, McVey said that he had heard the president was in town and wanted to see him, according to investigators.

Officers found that McVey's car had been equipped to resemble a police vehicle. However, Smith added, McVey did not work in law enforcement. The vehicle's front and rear dash were fitted with clear LED police-style strobe lights, and a digital camera was mounted near the front window. Four large antennas were also attached to the trunk, and a working siren box was located under the steering wheel.

Formulas for rifle scopes were also found on a sticky note in his car's cup holder, authorities said. Police have yet to elaborate on what the formulas might mean.
Filed under: Nation, Crime, Top Stories
 

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  "Going armed in terror of the public"  is the NY equivalent of a class B misdemeanor I believe.   I foresee the criminal charge eventually being dropped.   This looks like a case of ham geek kid stupid, that's about all.  
 

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Did he want to see the president personally with his sidearm or just see air force one take off? Big difference here.

Was he really impersonation a police officer or did his vehicle just have (clear when off) react/skywarn amber lights and ham antennas on it? I won't pass judgement on this dimwit until all the facts are in.

Regardless... If he would have left his xd40 home that day, we would not be here discussing this.
 
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