Reduce or Drop Charges
When Mr. Jordan Wiser, 18, Volunteer Firefighter, EMT, and recent enlistee in the US Army, left for school on the Morning of Thursday, Dec 12th, 2013, he brought along some sports equipment in his trunk to join his friends for a game after school. Jordan is an Airsoft enthusiast, a game which like paintball and laser tag simulates combat, like countless video games but with fresh air and exercise. Jordan frequents YouTube, and has posted many videos on everything from Airsoft to Self-Defense to Emergency Rescue, sharing his knowledge and enthusiasm on these and other subjects.
On that Thursday, the School Superintendent, Dr. Jerome Brockway, had his attention called to one of these videos, along with a photo-shopped image some unknown person had created comparing Mr. Wiser to the Virginia Tech Shooter. It is unclear if Dr. Brockway incorrectly assumed Jordan had made the image himself or if he knew that was not the case and merely feels that an act of vile slander against Jordan was an excuse to further victimize him. The result was the same regardless. Dr. Brockway called the Ashtabula County Technical and Career Campus’s High school principal, Paul Brockett, who went to Jordan's class. This is where he was when the principal had him brought to his office and ordered him to turn out his pockets before the Vice-Principal bodily seized Mr. Wiser and patted him down. No weapons were found. After this they informed him they would search his vehicle, he refused and they informed he had no choice and took his keys from him at this point they also told him that he was not allowed to leave the school. They asked what they would find he informed them he had two airsoft guns in his trunk and a Taser in his glove box. A search of his car found exactly that, as well as a pocket knife with his airsoft gear in his trunk. When the deputy arrived and arrested him, on charges of conveyance of deadly weapons, this included all four items. Those four 'deadly weapons' were two toy guns which sting sharply when hit by, a Taser - a weapon explicitly designed to NOT be deadly - and a pocket knife. A pocket knife. In his trunk.
In a sane world the principal would have informed Jordan that these were still technical violations of school policy and to leave them at home instead of simply out of sight in a locked vehicle. In a sane world the principal would have apologized but explained that caution must take precedence. In a sane world the principal would have sent Mr. Wiser back to class and left the incident there.
In this world, Jordan Wiser was arrested. He was brought before Judge Wynn and the photo comparing him to the Virginia Tech Shooter was waved around as proof he was potentially murderous, even though he was not its author but its victim. In this world Jordan was held on half a million and required to undergo a psych evaluation, which he passed, showing no signs of being homicidal or suicidal. In this world, even after passing he was kept in jail for 12 days until finally, on the day before Christmas, another judge said enough was enough and released Mr. Wiser on $0 bail, personal recognizance, with a GPS anklet and orders to stay away from the school. There, he was expelled, and the Army had to break contract on his enlistment, unless and until the felony charges are dropped. It is almost unbelievable any jury would find Jordan guilty of these absurd legal fictions of crime, but if they did he would face a year in prison and ruin of any future career.
If things could grow anymore absurd, let us be clear that Mr. Wiser was in trouble for having replica firearms in his trunk on school property. This is against policy, but it should not be too surprising it might not occur to him this was so, as he and everyone else in the A-Tech’s Police Training Program routinely handle Replica Firearms IN CLASS. Did we leave that part out? Mr. Wiser, who's 'signs' of being a potential school shooter apparently included making videos on self-defense, training for shooting sports competitions, first aid, and his Airsoft sports hobby; Mr. Wiser is training at that school to be a police officer and a fulltime firefighter/EMT, where he handles replica firearms as part of the class, and where Airsoft is actively encouraged as good practice.
It is not enough for the felony charges to be dropped. It is not enough for all charges to be dropped. This reckless, blame-the-victim behavior by the Superintendent and Principle led to this young man being imprisoned, to what borders on defrauding our court, to squandering taxpayer money on jail and a trial, and to placing extreme financial hardship on Mr. Wiser's family. 18 year old volunteer firefighters can't casually afford lawyers, after all. This unconscionable persecution requires an apology to begin with, and the School Board must order the Superintendent and Principle to do this, since they clearly lack the integrity to do so of their own accord. They've abused the trust placed in them by the students, parents, and taxpayers.
This was written by a writer of mine and now I would like to fill in a few extra details, on a side note after I was arrested the Ashtabula County Sheriff’s Office performed a search warrant on my house, a warrant where they were allowed to look anywhere they wanted and take whatever they wanted. At that point they went through my computer and then out to my father’s gun safe. At that point the question was asked by a deputy, “Are we going to size all of the firearms or just the firearms used in the videos he had made.” The detective responded, “We will just gather the serial numbers on the firearms.” Now that I am out of jail, they have taken my fathers’ rights away, he is not allowed to carry his firearm with his CCW and he is not allowed to have any firearms, or any of my airsoft guns inside of the home or in his possession nor am I aloud to have any contact with a firearm or airsoft guns.
I also want to point out that I have been handling firearms since I was eight years old and I have been an avid competition shooter for IDPA and USPSA. I have never threated anyone and now my 1st Amendment rights are being violated, I am in fear that whatever I post about firearm safety or usage will be used against me, even when guns originally had nothing to do with this. My 4th Amendment rights have also been violated by the illegal search and seizure of myself and my property, and my home. My 8th Amendment rights have also been violated by being held in jail for nearly 13 days on a half a million dollar bond.
There was just another case that happened at the Ashtabula County Technical Campus where a female produced a knife and threatened to slit a child’s throat. She said in the police report that she always carried the knife on her as well. She was not arrested and was only charged with an M5 of menacing. Not charged with anything that I am; but yet she could have KILLED someone that day; but I had toys locked in the trunk of my car to play a game after school.
Update on court from 02/14/14
the judge nearly sent me back to jail, he was extremely unprofessional by constantly making remarks about me, and about firearms. This picture that they “found” they can still not provide a definitive answer on where it came from and the judge thought I was insane; even after my lawyer explained this photo was not made by or ever in my possession. The judge issued another evaluation of my mental state, even though I have already taken and passed on already. The judge then issued a no contact order to my grandparents, in his reasoning because the firearms of my fathers are being kept at my grandparents’ house. Now if we go back in time to the last judge, he said that keeping the firearms there was perfectly fine. Now this judge, judge Mackey has issued a no contact order because of the firearms being there, I am not aloud within 500 feet of their house, I am not allowed to call them, I am not allowed to send letters, nor am I aloud to visit my grandfather who is currently dying.
If I get charged as a felon I will not be able to sever in the military, go to police academy, or become a firefighter/EMT. I wouldn’t be able to hold any real job in society and I am only eighteen years old, I do not want that to happen to me.
- Nicholas A. Iarocci, Esq.
Ashtabula County Prosecutor
Reduce or Drop Charges
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