Crime

Morrisdale man waives preliminary hearing in assault case

A Morrisdale man who allegedly flashed his gun at Wal-Mart employees waived his right to a preliminary hearing Wednesday during centralized court in Clearfield County.

Brooks Beveridge, 32, is charged with impersonating a public servant, simple assault and disorderly conduct. He is free on $10,000, unsecured bail.

The charges stem from an incident at the Wal-Mart in Lawrence Township when Beveridge was allegedly arguing with employees regarding an item he was trying to return. He told them he was an undercover police officer and showed them he was carrying a handgun.

According to the affidavit of probable cause, an employee told police that on Feb. 7 a man, later identified as Beveridge, approached her at the customer service desk and asked to return batteries. After this, Beveridge then attempted to return an Apple TV worth about $199.99. She asked him for the receipt and he responded that he didn’t have one. He explained he had purchased the item from a State College Wal-Mart about two weeks ago. The employee attempted to run the serial number on the TV but it was hard to read and the device serial number did not match the number on the box which he had with him.

When she told him she was unable to return the item, he became agitated, and she contacted the customer service manager. The manager told the man they could not make the return for the same reasons the other employee had stated to him. The first employee said Beveridge then opened his jacket to show them a gun that he had concealed in a brown leather shoulder holster. He said he was an undercover police officer; why would he lie about this? The employee told police this made her feel uncomfortable and she thought he did this to intimidate them.

The employees then retrieved the store manager who told Beveridge the same thing. He opened his jacket again and told this manager that he was an undercover cop.

When police asked this employee if he said anything else, she said Beveridge kept stating he needed money for gas and groceries for his children. He stated if they could just give him $100, and they told him they couldn’t do that. Then he said “just give me $10” as he needed money. Again he was told they couldn’t do that. He said they had to do something because this was their fault and not his. This employee did tell police Beveridge made no threats to her.

The customer service manager told police a similar story. She commented that she felt he was mentally unstable and was concerned about his actions. Because he told them he bought the TV in State College, she contacted that store and discovered they had not sold that item in the past two weeks. After he showed them his gun, she said she felt very uncomfortable and intimidated which is why she contacted her manager.

Once all three employees told him he couldn’t return the item, he left on his own. They followed to make sure he went out of the store. The manager said he drove away in a black Nissan truck.

The store manager corroborated the other stories adding that he said he was an Iraq War veteran and needed the money for his children.

They were able to give police his driver’s license number that was on the receipt for the returned batteries. An officer ran the license number and identified the suspect as Beveridge.

As the officer watched the surveillance video, he could clearly see the defendant speaking with the employees at the service desk. In the video Beveridge opened both sides of his jacket as described by the victims. He did the same thing after the store manager appeared.

The officer checked all vehicles registered to Beveridge and found he did own a Nissan truck. He then checked with the Clearfield County Sheriff’s Department to determine if he had a permit to carry a concealed weapon and he did. The officer asked them to revoke his permit.

Once his permit was taken away, Beveridge attempted to call the police officer numerous times. On Feb. 14, he spoke with Beveridge at the Lawrence Township Police Station.

Beveridge confirmed he was in the store trying to return a TV on Feb. 7. He told police he didn’t remember where he bought the TV. When he was reminded he told the employees he bought it in State College, he agreed to that. The officer pointed out the store in State College had not sold an item like that in weeks. Then Beveridge stated he didn’t know where he got it.

He claimed he carried the gun everywhere but said he hadn’t shown it to anyone at Wal-Mart that day. After he was told all three employees saw the gun as he intentionally showed it to them, he then stated he showed the guys because they asked about him being in the military. When it was pointed out that these employees were all women, he changed his story.

He said he mentioned he was retired Air Force and this led to him showing the firearm. He was informed this story was different than what the employees said and he changed his story again, stating they accidentally saw the gun as it sticks out on its own. He also said, he gets hot and that caused him to open his jacket numerous times.

When he was told they said he claimed to be an undercover police officer he said they were lying. When asked why they would lie, he said he didn’t know. He then said he told them he was a “retired non-commissioned officer.” He was advised all three employees said the same thing which was not close to what Beveridge was telling the officer.

The officer told Beveridge he was not telling the truth. Beveridge replied that he had taken numerous classes in reference to people lying and he knew he was not showing any signs of deception.

When asked why he needed money so badly, he said he didn’t need money. He said he was joking when he said he’d take $100 or $10 for the TV. He was asked again about impersonating an officer and his story changed again. This time he said they asked to see his firearm because he said he was a veteran. When it was pointed out to him that he had changed his story again, he said he wanted a lawyer. He was escorted out of the station.

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