NC Wesleyan student arrested; weapons, racial slurs found
Posted April 22, 2013
Rocky Mount, N.C. — 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.
"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.