Ringgold grad takes gun to school
A Ringgold High School graduate dressed in drag and toting a gun caused a stir Wednesday morning at his alma mater.
Sean Ashley Begandy Jr., 18, of Monongahela, allegedly tried to enter the high school with a pellet gun tucked in the front of his shirt around 7:30 a.m. – before being detained by school security, Carroll Township police said.
Begandy was dressed as a woman, police said.
Police said Begandy first snuck onto a school bus and rode to the high school campus.
He allegedly pulled out a black pistol as he approached school security officer Colleen Spahr at the entrance.
Police said Begandy surrendered the weapon to Spahr and was quickly taken to the security office.
“The school district has taken steps in the past year to bolster security, and I feel the measures they have in place paid off,” Carroll Township police Chief Paul Brand said. “Once he was met by security personnel, he relinquished the weapon and was very cooperative.”
The gun ended up being an Airsoft gun used to shoot plastic pellets, Brand said.
While not considered a deadly weapon, the BB-type gun can cause injury, Brand said.
The gun was not loaded, Brand said.
“More importantly, it replicates a real gun very closely – almost to the detail,” Brand said. “The only difference is (air guns) generally have an orange tip on the end of the barrel, which his did.”
Brand described Begandy as wearing a “costume.”
“Sweat pants, a shirt tied at the waist, he appeared to be wearing makeup like a woman would wear and had hoop earrings and other jewelry,” Brand said.
“School officials indicated (Begandy) was the kind of kid who sought attention. Well, he got our attention.”
Following his arrest, Begandy allegedly told Brand and Carroll Township officer Stephen Kenyon that he boarded the bus at the intersection of Fourth and Union streets and went to the high school to see old friends.
Begandy told police he was planning to go with friends to Philadelphia later in the day to shoot the pistol.
“His only explanation was he was coming to the school to say hello to some former teachers and students that he knew, and he was going to shoot with them later,” Brand said.
Brand said district officials questioned the bus driver, who indicated Begandy blended in with the nearly three dozen students at the stop.
“It's a unique stop that fills up a whole bus, so out of any of the stops you could blend in – considering how he was dressed – that was the stop,” Brand said. “He's young, he's 18, and appears to be like a student.”
Begandy allegedly told officers no one gave him permission to ride the bus, and he never intended to cause harm with the pistol.
Begandy was charged with misdemeanor possession of a weapon on school property and unauthorized school bus entry. He was arraigned before Magisterial District Judge Mark Wilson of Monongahela and sent to the Washington County Correctional Facility in lieu of $10,000 straight cash bond.
Begandy's preliminary hearing is scheduled for Nov. 7 before Wilson.
“I believe the magistrate is sending a strong message that you don't bring any type of weapon onto school grounds and, as an adult, sneak onto a school bus,” Brand said.
“That's going to be treated very seriously and, obviously, we and school officials treated it very seriously.”
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- 2 men nabbed in Donora drug sting
- N. Belle Vernon man jailed after police station visit
- Summer youth program in Donora bridges gap between young, old
- Watch out for computer scams, identifty theft
- Monessen residents angry about blight
- Probation sought in former Yough coach’s sex-texting case
- Fleming, 17, restoring Forward cemetery for Eagle Scout rank
- In-house busing aids Belle Vernon Area
- House fire claims life of Monongahela man
- Goldfish sparks alleged assault by Carroll man
- North Belle Vernon man charged with making threatening calls to borough police