Monday, April 26, 2010

Whacker Alert! - Updated

A "whacker" is someone who, due to poorly understood psychological imbalances, imagines himself as a police or public safety officer. Whackers will outfit their vehicles with strobe lights, police/fire/public scanner radios and antennas out the yazoo. They will also dress in Battle Dress Uniforms (BDU's) or official looking black, tan or blue monoform clothing. You might also know whackers by other terms, such as holster sniffers, badge bunnies or [ahem] nightstick polishers.

Click the link for several instances of whackers getting caught impersonating police officers or acting out their little fantasies.

Whackers are usually harmless wannabes. Usually.

However, one was arrested Sunday at the Asheville, NC airport, the airport that President Obama had departed from just moments before:

At about 2 p.m., airport police saw the man get out of a maroon car with Ohio plates and that he had a sidearm, Smith said. Both airport police and the Secret Service questioned him and he was taken into custody. The suspect was nowhere near the president's plane, which had just departed, and was in a rental car return lot that is open to the public, Smith said.

His car was equipped with clear LED law enforcement-style strobe lights in the front and rear dash, Smith said. The car also had a mounted digital camera in the front window, four large antennas on the trunk lid, and under the steering wheel was a working siren box. Smith said the suspect was not in law enforcement. When he got out of the car, he was listening to a handheld scanner and radio that had a remote earpiece, Smith said. Police said he was monitoring local agencies and had formulas for rifle scopes on a note in his cup holder. Police did not immediately elaborate on what the formulas might mean and Smith was not available to comment late Sunday. - Armed Man Arrested at Airport as Obama Departs
So, what was this guy doing at the airport where the POTUS was departing?  In true whacker fashion, he was probably doing what he thought was his role in such a high-profile event in Asheville, NC.  He got all dressed up in his BDU or monoform, he made sure his car was absolutely tricked out with all the latest gear, and he went patroling the airport to make sure that no racist, intolerant teabagger types would cause any trouble.

Extra Point:  Oh, the whacker's name:  Joseph Sean McVey.

Update: Via the Associated Press, it's confirmed: Mr. McVey is a "public-service-minded" ham-radio, weather and police buff. Aka, "Whacker." Friends and acquaintances, according to the AP story, describe him as overly enthusiastic and dismiss the episode as a likely misunderstanding.  In all likelihood, McVey posed no threat to the President, but police acted appropriately in detaining him.


Anonymous said...

Lovely. We veterans deal with this crap all the time. It's amazing how many wannabes are out there, buying uniforms and insignia and trying to pass themselves off as veterans, or even active duty folks.

Most are physically harmless, but they and their actions cast a bad light on real veterans, and make people suspicious of anyone's claims.


Anonymous said...

I LOL'ed at the nightstick polisher thing.

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