Man arrested for having gun at rally
By Bill Vidonic, Times Staff
Published: Friday, August 29, 2008 11:10 PM EDT
BEAVER — An Industry man is facing a disorderly conduct charge for attending the Barack Obama rally in Irvine Park with a loaded gun that was holstered on his hip, according to state police and the Beaver County sheriff’s department.
John Noble, 50, was questioned by police for several hours Friday night after the incident, in which witnesses said he also was passing out fliers with writing about gun rights.
John Atkinson of Vanport Township said he saw Noble passing out the fliers and noticed the small-caliber handgun strapped to the man’s waist. He said he quickly notified nearby deputy sheriffs, and deputies Joseph O’Sche and Rich Yonlisky approached the man as he walked along Market Street.
Atkinson said that when the deputies asked why he had a gun, Noble replied, “Because I’m an American,” and one of the deputies responded, “Well, you’re under arrest.”
Noble was hustled to a nearby vehicle, and state police took him to the Brighton Township barracks to question him.
Beaver County Sheriff George David said that Noble insisted he had a right to have the gun because he has a permit to carry it. It wasn’t clear late Friday whether Noble had a valid permit.
David said Noble “wanted to show his rights.” He said Noble never removed the gun from the holster or threatened anyone.
Noble’s arrest took place around 7 p.m., nearly 90 minutes before Sen. Obama and the rest of his campaign team arrived in Beaver.
Bill Vidonic can be reached online at firstname.lastname@example.org