A high school senior in Ohio is facing felony charges after officials at the technical school he was attending for firefighter training searched his vehicle and found a pocketknife. The young man’s future and his dreams of serving the public are now in jeopardy.
“If I am convicted of a felony, I’m never going to be a police officer. I’m never going to be a fireman. I’m never going to be in the military,” Jordan Wiser told The Huffington Post. “I won’t even be able to be a janitor. I’m 18 years old, and this is going to ruin my entire life.”
Wiser was enrolled at the Ashtabula County Technical and Career Campus (A-Tech) in Jefferson, Ohio, a small village located about 60 miles northeast of Cleveland. Wiser told HuffPost he was taking A-Tech’s Firefighter 2 and EMT courses.
“Last year, I completed the law enforcement course,” he said. “I received several certifications, including the National Terror Defense certification from FEMA, the Terror Recognition certification and [certification as an] Emergency Vehicle Operator.”
On Dec. 12, 2013, administrators at A-Tech approached Wiser after someone allegedly tipped them off about videos Wiser had uploaded to YouTube.
The YouTube account in question appears to include reviews of video games and merchandise, demonstrations on home defense tactics and an interview with a local police officer.
“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”.