Ringgold grad accused of bringing BB gun into high school

October 31, 2013
Sean Begandy Jr.

A Ringgold graduate carrying a concealed BB gun rode a district school bus to the high school Wednesday morning before trying to enter the building with the weapon, according to court records.

Carroll Township police said Sean Ashley Begandy Jr. boarded the school bus at the stop at Fourth and Union streets in Monongahela, and later was stopped by a security officer at the main entrance’s checkpoint.

He turned over the black, 6mm Airsoft pistol hidden in his shirt without incident to school security guards before police arrived to investigate about 7:30 a.m., the affidavit states.

Police said Begandy, 18, of 616 Indiana St., Monongahela, told them he rode the bus “because he wanted to see friends” and planned to go to Philadelphia later that afternoon to shoot the pistol with them.

Begandy now faces misdemeanor charges of possession of a weapon on school property and unauthorized entry to a school bus. He was arraigned by District Judge Mark Wilson Thursday and placed in Washington County jail on $10,000 bond.

Ringgold School District Superintendent Karen Polkabla said Begandy managed to get on the bus unnoticed with about 30 students, many of whom were wearing hooded sweatshirts, because the driver was new to the route and it was dark.

“He blended right in with the students because he looked so young,” Polkabla said.

According to a criminal complaint supporting the arrest, police said Begandy never intended to harm any students or faculty at the school.

“At no time did anyone give him permission to ride the bus to the school,” police said in court documents, “nor did he mean anyone any harm by having his pistol with him.”

Police said Begandy gave them a written statement after the school security guards detained him.

It was not immediately known Thursday if he had hired an attorney to represent him in the case.

Staff writer Scott Beveridge contributed to this report.

Mike Jones has been a news reporter since 2005, covering crime, state and municipal government, education and energy. In addition to working at the Observer-Reporter, he also has spent time at the Charleston (W.Va.) Daily Mail and Patch.com. He holds a journalism degree from West Virginia University.

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