NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (WAVY) — One of the men Newport News police charged with bringing a gun to Hollydazzle is speaking out, saying he had no intentions of being a threat to the celebration.
Newport News police charged 21-year-old Quinn Wesley and another man before last Friday’s event at City Center in Oyster Point. He was released on a summons for a weapons charge, then called 10 On Your Side.
Wesley said he did nothing wrong, and feels he is being used as a sort of poster boy for the police department.
“I just want to say that I didn’t have anything to do with that,” Wesley said. “They can’t prove I had anything to do with that. I’m just clearing my name, basically.”
Police told 10 On Your Side earlier this week there were threats made on social media about something bad happening at Hollydazzle. They said the department received tips ahead of time about possible criminal activity, suggesting juveniles or young adults would bring weapons to the celebration.
So, officers looked into the individuals and criminal activities indicated by the tips and put a precautionary plan into action. That led to Wesley and 18-year-old Keron Lamar Jones being arrested. Several others were questioned.
“I don’t have anything to do with that,” Wesley said. “I never said anything about going up there and doing anything that was against the law.”
Wesley said that while tens of thousands were jammed into City Center for Hollydazzle, he was actually just passing through. He said he was on his way from work to his friend’s house and decided to stop at a stand and buy a drink. That’s when police stopped him because he was carrying a gun.
“They took the gun, it was registered, it was my firearm, and they said you can’t get it back until you go to court,” Wesley told WAVY.com.
Wesley admits he’s been in trouble with the law before, but he’s adamant he had no bad intentions. He said he carried a gun for protection, because he has been shot three times before.
Wesley does not have a concealed carry permit, and he cannot say that it was always visible tucked into his pants at the hip.
“My jacket was up and my hands, that’s why I said they was already up, and I had a red shirt on, you could see the gun, it was black, and I had it up,” he said.
10 On Your Side asked police about what Wesley had to say. The department said they acted on the information they had, but couldn’t go into the details of how they came in contact with him.