Skip to comments.Joshua Beck: Iím being painted as the bad guy(WV)
Posted on 10/19/2011 5:32:31 AM PDT by marktwain
Blue Ridge Community and Technical College student disputes illegally taking gun onto campus
MARTINSBURG - Individuals at Blue Ridge Community and Technical College have an anti-gun agenda, says a man arrested last week for toting a gun on campus.
Joshua Lee Beck says BRCTC is trying to paint him as a bad guy.
"They're only pressing this after they found out what I did for a living," Beck told The Journal Tuesday. "Their treatment of me is outrageous and unlawful. I find the allegations slanderous, outrageous and insulting."
Beck, 26, of Martinsburg, has been arrested and charged twice for allegedly bringing a firearm onto Blue Ridge CTC's campuses. The state charges are felonies, and he faces a prison term of two to 10 years and/or a fine of up to $5,000 if convicted.
According to the police report, Beck, who has a permit to carry a concealed handgun, allegedly brought a firearm onto the BRCTC Tech Center at 5550 Winchester Ave. - the former Corning plant - on Oct. 11, a Tuesday, and was subsequently arrested on Oct. 13, a Thursday, by a Berkeley County sheriff's deputy.
BRCTC executive staff decided to close the school that Thursday afternoon and remain closed until 8 a.m. Monday to review security procedures, according to a statement released by BRCTC. In the school's official statement, which was released by Leslie See, director of enrollment management, it was said that "at no time was there an active threat."
Berkeley County Sheriff Kenneth Lemaster also stated in a telephone interview Friday that there were no threats.
On Monday, Beck was arrested and charged by Martinsburg city police with bringing a firearm onto the BRCTC Dunn Building campus on West Stephen Street in Martinsburg on Oct. 10, a Monday, according to the police report.
The police report states that Beck had brought a handgun on campus before and had been told not to because it was against school policy.
In the police report for this incident, See advised the police officer that Beck had posted a comment on Facebook about Blue Ridge CTC referring to "a gun nut" at the college. The report continues, "See is concerned for her safety."
Beck provided The Journal with a Facebook entry, which reads as follows:
"Some anti gun nut at the college is trying to paint me as a criminal because of what I do for a living. Never knew being an outstanding member of Berk Co, a gun dealer, a NRA firearm instructor, a Army Vet, and a past law and government security officer makes me a bad evil man! So Im getting as many experienced military, government, or any high standing citizen to stand for who I am. Some people just don't respect the people who sacrifice their self for others safeties and freedoms (sic)!"
Beck disputes the statements made in the police reports.
"No one notified me nor spoke to me about the issue before (Oct. 11)," Beck said Tuesday, although he did not deny taking a handgun onto campus.
The police report states that in a voicemail to See, "Beck admits to carrying his gun into the school on several different occasions."
Beck said he received a telephone call from James L. McDougle, the director of student success at BRCTC, who told him not to bring a firearm onto campus.
"I told him, 'It won't happen again - who can I talk to?'" Beck said. "I was yelled at by McDougle. He said people with guns were criminals. He proceeded with a rant and screaming."
It states in the police report that when McDougle told Beck about the college's policy on not carrying guns on campus, "the conversation escalated and Mr. McDougle ended the call."
Beck also said that the allegations for Oct. 10 are unfounded and untrue, and that he did not have a firearm on him that day.
Beck is a full-time student at BRCTC, finishing his degree in criminal justice. He wants to be an instructor at a law enforcement academy, he said.
He "helps out" at Shep's Sporting Goods store in Martinsburg, he said, and is a National Rifle Association instructor.
Originally from New York, he joined the U.S. Army at age 17 but received a medical discharge shortly afterward.
After leaving the Army, he worked for a government contractor guarding federal buildings in New York City, he said. He worked as a corrections officer for the West Virginia Department of Corrections at the Martinsburg Correctional Center, he said.
He has never had any run-ins with the law, Beck said, "not even a speeding ticket."
Beck said BRCTC officials "are pushing deals on me. They want me to sign an agreement. If I never come back, I can do online classes. Then they said they would just graduate me."
He and his attorney, James M. Mullins, of Beckley, argue the very law Beck is charged with does not apply to carrying a weapon onto a college campus - only primary, secondary and vocational schools.
Mullins also maintains that BRCTC's policy does not prohibit someone from taking a gun onto campus.
"The policy focuses on storage or use of firearms, and, in my opinion, does not cover possession or carrying of a firearm," Mullins said via a conference call Tuesday.
Beck was scheduled to have a college disciplinary hearing today. He would not comment on the accusations made by BRCTC.
The violations of the BRCTC student code of conduct included "carried a gun on the Tech Center campus into a classroom; has been told not to have the gun on campus a minimum of two times before this incident; and behavior has escalated by making inappropriate comments and threats in the classroom and over the phone."
Beck's preliminary hearing for the Oct. 10 charge is scheduled for Oct. 31.
A telephone message and email message to Blue Ridge CTC officials Tuesday were not returned.
- Staff writer John McVey can be reached at 304-263-3381, ext. 128, or firstname.lastname@example.org
Sounds like a good Joe, but proper concealed carry means that the people who are looking for it, police and badguys, don’t know you have it.
Been carrying concealed for almost 17 years and I never go out with looking in the mirror to make sure I am not printing or sagging on the weapon side.
I live in PA and could open carry, and on rare occasions I have, but I'm more comfortable carrying without advertising my gun.
I have a holster that fits in the small of the back and that works OK, but you need a long jacket and it's much harder to gain quick access to it.
For an “emotional, anti-gun nut” the reporter did a pretty good job of minimizing his attitude and attributing the inflammatory statements to the drama queens.
It kind of sounds like Mr. Leslie See, director of enrollment management and Mr. James L. McDougle, director of student success may have stepped on certain of their own body parts and are now trying hard to make this go away.
I’m sorry, for Mr. Beck in that he will get to play with “the system”. It sounds like he may have some experience with government bureaucrats. However, with competent council, his pain may save others from this crap in the long run.
What state is this? Does the state ban handguns in colleges? Does it allow local government to make local gun laws? If it is neither, then he could argue in court colleges should be treated like a local government and should not be allowed to hamper CC. Not defending bans of guns on colleges or letting cities with too many hippies get to denigh people their constitutional rights btw. Just discussing what might work in court
This happened in the State of West Virginia.
He was arrested after the fact? Sounds pretty weak. Who will testify that he did have a gun on Oct. 11th?
From the article:
“Some anti gun nut at the college is trying to paint me as a criminal because of what I do for a living. Never knew being an outstanding member of Berk Co, a gun dealer, a NRA firearm instructor, a Army Vet, and a past law and government security officer makes me a bad evil man! So Im getting as many experienced military, government, or any high standing citizen to stand for who I am. Some people just don’t respect the people who sacrifice their self for others safeties and freedoms (sic)!”
Presumably, the gun dealer and/or firearms instructor are his current job. I think either one would itch in the craw of the rabid anti-gun types.
The reporter was not characterized as an emotional anti-gun nut. The people at the college were. May I quote:
“In the police report for this incident, See advised the police officer that Beck had posted a comment on Facebook about Blue Ridge CTC referring to “a gun nut” at the college. The report continues, “See is concerned for her safety.”
Leslie See, director of enrollment management
It is clear from the story that the person taking the “gun nut” prose 180 degrees out of context is Leslie See.
Thanks for restating what I said.