QRZ Logbook

Monday, April 26, 2010

Guy arrested as Obama leaves Asheville a ham

A man was arrested on Sunday near the Asheville Regional Airport after he was stopped near the airport's car rental parking lot as President Obama was onboard Air Force One taxiing out to depart. Agents stopped Joseph Sean McVey after noticing he was wearing a sidearm and using a handheld radio and talking into a headset. Agents ran his driver's license number and it came back invalid. When asked why he was there, he stated he wanted to see the President.

Not exactly the best thing to say when you have a gun at your side.

He's detained and possibly facing an array of charges. Currently he's charged with "going armed to the terror of the public" (?) a misdemeanor, yet with a $100,000 bond. I'm pretty sure they'll find others to add.

When I heard he had a light bar, siren, and antennas on his car, I immediately looked on QRZ and found there was a name matching his, callsign K8JSM. His age matches with his description (he says he was born in 1987, and the article states he's 23) and he said he goes by Sean, the middle name in the article.

Unfortunately while it seems like his intentions were not terribly concerning (he said he was interested in seeing the President, and just seems like he was just going out as a Secret Service wannabe) he's going to be in a big boatload of trouble. It's going to make ham radio operators look bad as well, depending on how the media plays this out. The article linked earlier talks about the scanners, antennae, and radios he had. It could lead to a few articles or not-so-subtle references to how some in ham radio think they either represent the law, or worse, are above it.

The folks at Hamsexy are talking about it, (their term for these kind of hams is "whackers") and QRZ is also discussing this person. These forums have even found a YouTube video of him chasing a storm in Coshocton County, Ohio and reporting hail. He's also a member of REACT and apparently they have a strong presence as several REACT members were tending to a downed tree. He even is good enough to post the transcripts of his transmissions. What was more amusing to me was the discussion of the proper sizes of hail.

Face it, there's at least one person like Sean in your area. I can name at least two here in East Tennessee. Hell, when I got my ticket I thought about a light bar, headlight strobes, and magnets all over the truck I drove. Yes, we want to be able to have all the equipment at the ready when something does occur, but parading around the countryside with a few lightbars and magnets on your cars when you don't need them can set a bad example for others to follow.
Ask yourself if it's really necessary to have your vehicle lit up like a Christmas tree or a portable discotheque when you're on the road responding to whatever emergency you need to go to, or when you're doing a public service event (marathon, bike race, etc.).

Now several of my friends have the amber lights on their cars or trucks. The small one or two-light system is fine. Subtle, maybe. But the big ones that span the hood of your car and make people wonder if you're with the local utility or some other public service, that's over the top.

God forbid you get red, blue, and/or green ones, indicating you're government/emergency service...


  1. Whacker for sure, but... was anything he was doing actually illegal? I doubt it. Sad too. Want to be a cop/firefighter? Get on over to the academy and sign up... they need good/smart volunteers. Although this guy might not have qualified...

  2. Can someone please tell me he was not attemptingn to inpersonate a OFficer/Agent and carrying a sidearm! I know, I know I read this are it is going to hit the community with the media. Is this guy any relations to the late Tim McVey? He will be having alot of questions to answer too!

  3. Sad! Different spelling of Ok City Bomber's name McVey/McVeigh. Whacker is right. Illegal, maybe not, but what WAS he thinking? 73