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NC Wesleyan student arrested; weapons, racial slurs found

Posted April 22, 2013

— Police arrested a North Carolina Wesleyan College student early Monday who "was acting in a threatening manner and appeared to be heavily intoxicated," according to the Rocky Mount school.

Matthew Lee Price, 22, of 7406 Gardners School Road in Stantonsburg, was charged with three counts of having a gun on an educational property and one count of having a weapon on an educational property. He was released on an unsecured $10,000 bond.

Police found several weapons in his van and racial slurs posted in his dorm room in Petteway Hall, according to school officials. They said Price, a junior majoring in exercise science and a member of the college's ROTC program, won't be allowed back on campus.

"We would never want a student to make poor decisions that could jeopardize the health and safety of any other individual," N.C. Wesleyan spokeswoman Diane Lefiles said.

No one was injured in the incident.

School officials praised Rocky Mount police for their rapid response to defuse a "potentially dangerous situation." Police officer Tamika Locke lives on campus to support the school's security program, they said.

Still, some N.C. Wesleyan students expressed concern over the weapons on campus.

"It is scary that something like this occurred on campus," junior Emily Bower said. "The racial slurs are going to make people mad, and there are people who are upset about it."

Bower said she was surprised to learn Price was the person charged in the case.

North Carolina Wesleyan College, N.C. Wesleyan sign Rocky Mount police find guns on college campus

"My friends have classes with him, and it seems like it just came out of the blue," she said. "No one was really expecting it from anyone, much less from someone in ROTC – someone who seemed dedicated to school."

N.C. Wesleyan officials sent an email to students and school staff to inform them of the incident.

"There was no immediate threat to their safety, so we did not call them in the middle of the night," Lefiles said. "We did certainly want them to be aware that it happened so that we could help dispel rumors and get them as much as the factual information as we could provide."

Monday marks the start of finals week at N.C. Wesleyan, a small liberal arts school affiliated with the state conference of the United Methodist Church.

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  • birkie74693 Apr 24, 12:02 p.m.

    Light: "I don't see a problem with the racial slurs in his own room ..."

    What about an Army barracks? Problem with racial slurs THERE? How about on an offshore oil rig, or a nuclear submarine? On the PA system at a football game?

    Those are all places where people CONSENT, implicitly or explicitly, to modify their behavior and follow the rules. Exactly like a college dormitory. The students AGREE to obey the guidelines, rather than offend other students and staff. A dormitory room is NOT one person's private property, any more than a bunk in an Army barrack is.

  • Lightfoot3 Apr 24, 10:07 a.m.

    I don't see a problem with the racial slurs in his own room, unless he had a roommate complaining about them.

  • bulldogs12 Apr 23, 2:13 p.m.

    First off until you get the whole true story i wouldn't jump to any conclusions because the racist comment that was put up was by his friend and not him, he took the blame for it.now im not saying what he done was right im saying that yall shouldn't jump to any conclusions because im pretty sure that yall aint angels. when it came to his weapons it werent going to use it. when it came to the alcohol not all was his, but once again he took the blame for it because he roommate is under 21.

  • rargos Apr 23, 2:02 p.m.

    "So if someone uses a racial slur and then assaults you, they can be charged with a hate crime."

    Pretty soon using the racial slur itself will cause you to be charged with a "thought crime" ... oh, wait ... that's already happening ...

    Orwell was right, we're just 30 years behind schedule.

  • rargos Apr 23, 1:59 p.m.

    Forget the weapons ... he had "racial slurs" in his room !!!

  • suncat2 Apr 23, 1:02 p.m.

    From the NC Wesleyan College 2012=2013 Student Handbook, under Student Rules and Regulations(items that will result in disciplinary actions):

    HARASSMENT -Actions which may be offensive toward, or create an offensive environment for another group or individual including, but not limited to, use of obscene, vulgar, profane, lewd,
    lascivious, or indecent language, or the making of a proposal of an indecent nature, or the threatening of any person. Also included in this definition is any action or situation which may
    produce mental or physical discomfort, embarrassment, or ridicule to or for any group or individual. (page 21)

  • JustOneGodLessThanUU Apr 23, 12:15 p.m.

    Kicked out during finals week. Too bad they couldn't work out a deal to allow him to finish his finals and wrap up the semester.

  • birkie74693 Apr 23, 10:51 a.m.

    A very large number of you are missing the point: A college student living in a dormitory does NOT have a "right" to speech that frightens others or causes divisiveness. A dormitory is NOT a private house; the students who move into dorms AGREE voluntarily to abide by the university guidelines and rules about what is and isn't permitted. It's the same situation as, say, a post office where the postmaster posts racist flyers. It is NOT appropriate in a public setting because it tends to create anger and fright in some people who have a RIGHT to use the post office like anybody else does. And colleges forbid hate speech in public settings because becoming EDUCATED means learning not to hate and fear others because of their skin or religion or country of origin. It's a shame some of y'all just can't seem to wrap your minds around something that simple.

  • suncat2 Apr 23, 8:39 a.m.

    This guy really threw away his future. He's out of ROTC,out of college, will have a criminal record...
    Goes to prove that alcohol and dumb don't mix.

  • chrisnrali Apr 22, 7:46 p.m.

    So name calling has become a crime?

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