YouTube Video Sparks Overreaction To Pocket Knife, Destroys Student’s Future
March 12, 2014 8:46am PST
A student in Ohio who has been in EMT training and created a video about his passions has been arrested for a felony and sent to jail for 13 days after school officials searched his vehicle and found a pocketknife, but the story gets even worse for the young man.
The 18 year old student, named Jordan Wiser, attended school at Ashtabula County Technical and Career Campus in Jefferson, Ohio. He’s been training to become an EMT, wants to become a firefighter, is a certified emergency vehicle operator, and has a passion for self-defense and being a public servant. His YouTube video(shown above) shows him talking about the things he’s passionate about such as law enforcement, video games, and self-defense, but apparently school administrators didn’t take too kindly to it.
According to reports officials at his school found out about the video and believed that because of it Wiser was in possession of weapons on school grounds. They then had the police come to the school and search his vehicle without his consent or a warrant which turned up a stun-gun, a couple of airsoft toys, and a small pocketknife.
“The principal said he had reason to believe I had weapons in my vehicle and needed to search it,” Wiser said. “He made me empty out all my pockets, and the vice principal grabbed me and patted me down very forcibly. It was somewhat awkward. Then they took my car keys. I told them what was in my car and said, ‘Don’t be alarmed.'” He also said that school officials refused to let him contact an attorney.
The pocketknife he had, which Wiser said was in his EMT vest, is in violation of the school’s zero-tolerance policy forbidding students from bringing any weapons on to school grounds, a class 5 felony.
Wiser said that the Airsoft guns were in his vehicle because he was planning on meeting his airsoft team after school and that he didn’t think anything of them.
“Our school is a technical school, and I was planning on meeting with my Airsoft team after school. My stun gun was locked in the glove box, and the knife was in my EMT medical vest. I bought it at K-Mart and have it as part of my first responder kit for cutting seatbelts,” he said in a statement.
He was taken to jail for 13 days because of his “crime” as well as expelled from his school, and the story only gets worse from there.
He was held on a half a million dollars bond pending a psychological evaluation, which he ended up passing. It was only after his attorney presented his case to a different judge that his bond was reduced to $50,000 and he was released with an ankle monitor on Christmas Eve.
The prosecutor in the case isn’t giving him any leniency at all either.
Ashtabula County assistant prosecutor Harold Specht said in a statement that “We charge [people] with everything that we feel they are guilty of, and in this case, he is guilty of a felony.”
“There are all these school occurrences where people are shot, people are killed by other students,” Specht said. “We see it every day … so we don’t take these things lightly. … We have to be sure that we don’t have a potential for something like that to happen here.”
Part of the condition of his release from jail was that he remove all weapons from his home and put them at his grandfather’s house, then he was ordered to have no further contact with his grandfather who’s dying of cancer.
“The one judge I went in front of told me to remove any firearms from my parents’ house and put them at my grandpa’s house,” said Wiser. “The next judge freaked out about me even knowing what a gun is and put a no contact order against me and my grandparents. My grandfather is dying right now, and I am not allowed within 500 feet of him.”
Wiser’s main concern is that the incident, which has been epically blown out of proportion, will destroy his chances at a career in public service. A felony conviction would prevent him from becoming a police officer, he’s been expelled from his school and he was kicked out of the U.S. Army’s Future Soldier Program all because of this.
“I won’t even be able to be a janitor. I’m 18 years old, and this is going to ruin my entire life,” he said.