Ohio teen Jordan Wiser spent 13 days in a jail cell after his Cleveland area school decided that they had reason to believe that he had weapons on campus. Jordan Wiser, a senior at Ashtabula County Technical and Career Campus. He was in the process of completing Firefighter 2 and EMT courses to jump start his dream of becoming a first responder. Wiser, 18, completed his law enforcement training course last year.
In addition to the law enforcement, firefighter, and EMT courses Wiser was engaged in, he had also enrolled in the Future Soldiers program and was scheduled to ship out in August. The Ohio teen had also been awarded National Terror Defense certification via FEMA and Terror Recognition certification as an emergency vehicle operator. Jordan Wiser’s career plan is now in jeopardy due to a felony arrest stemming from an EMT knife found inside his medic vest in his car in the school parking lot. The Jefferson native also had two airsoft guns in his car for a planned after game after school. He also kept a legally purchased stun gun in his vehicle for self-defense reasons.
The horrific ordeal began for Wiser last December. Ashtabula County Technical and Career Campus (A-Tech) questioned the student after receiving a “tip” about videos the teen made and uploaded to YouTube. The video clips included reviews of various games and merchandise, home defense tactics, and an in-depth interview with a local police officer.
During an interview with the Huffington Post, Jordan Wiser had this to say:
“The principal said he had reason to believe I had weapons in my vehicle and needed to search it. 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.’ 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.”
Jordan Wiser was arrested and ultimately jailed for 13 days for illegal conveyance of a weapon onto school grounds – a Class 5 felony. Ashtabula County Chief Assistant Prosecutor Harold Specht told the media that the felony charge was filed in relation to the small pocketknife only.
Specht had this to say about the backlash his office has received due to Wiser’s arrest:
“There’s a load of people out here that just think we’re the devil because we’re allegedly ruining this young kid’s life. There are all these school occurrences where people are shot, people are killed by other students. 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.”
There’s not taking things likely and then there is common sense. Specht and his cohorts are attempting to paint a teenage school shooter and aquality young man intent of serving others, with the same brush.
Upon release from jail Wiser shared this about the arrest and what obstacles he still faces in the courtroom:
“I was in jail for almost 13 days. The first bond hearing I went to was on December 15. The judge ordered me [to be] held on a half million-dollar bond, pending a psychological evaluation. I did that and passed. They found I was not suicidal, homicidal or a threat to anybody. My attorney brought it up in front of a different judge, who let me out on a $50,000 bond and an ankle monitor. I was released from jail on Christmas Eve. There are kids at my school all the time who get caught with knives and are suspended. My school is very rural, and people carry knives. I can accept the fact that there was a lapse in judgment, and I can accept a punishment, but I have already been expelled from both the tech school and my home school.”
A-Tech Superintendent Jerome Brockway has refused to comment on Jordan Wisor’s arrest. Because the EMT pocketknife charge is a felony, the Army has discharged him pending either a charge drop without prejudice or a not-guilty verdict. If convicted of a felony, Wisor’s dreams of being a soldier are not only dashed, but so are his plans to become a firefighter or police officer after completing his enlistment.
Wiser also had this to say about being handcuffed and charged with a felony:
“I won’t even be able to be a janitor. I’m 18 years old, and this is going to ruin my entire life. 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. 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.”
A petition on Change.org was started in order to urge authorities to drop Jordan Wiser’s charges to a misdemeanor, and is rapidly garnering signatures. The page has now been removed at the young man’s request. The Ohio court reportedly threatened sanctions against the teen and his attorney if the petition remained because the prosecutor was angry of his email inbox being flooded with messages in support of the teen who dreams of serving both his community and his country.