WASHINGTON (NewsNation Now) — The man arrested by Capitol Police in Washington, D.C., for bringing a gun into the city and having an unauthorized inauguration credential said he is a security guard, and it was an honest mistake.
Wesley Beeler, 31, was arrested on Friday after his truck was searched at a security checkpoint near the National Mall.
His story made headlines around the nation, and police said they also found hundreds of rounds of ammunition in his truck.
But the day after he was arrested, he was released from jail.
“I get that this would be an exciting story for everyone to go after — that there is a terrorist going in there by himself. But it is not what happened by any means,” Beeler said.
Beeler is a former corrections officer and said he was hired as a security guard to watch over media equipment on the National Mall.
“I was in such a rush because I have a family. I had a lot of stuff going on that day. I went to D.C. and got lost trying to find my way back to the National Mall. I was just simply a person that forgot his firearm was in there because it is an everyday thing for me. I always have it with me unless I am going to an unarmed site, and that day I just forgot,” Beeler said.
Beeler lives about an hour and a half outside D.C. and says he rarely goes into the Capitol and forgot to take his gun out of his car.
“I knew there were some rules about it, but I don’t know all the rules. I probably should do more research on it. I forgot it was underneath my armrest,” Beeler said.
As for the unauthorized inauguration credentials, Beeler says the security company he works for gave them to him and he had been using them for several days.
He is devastated he has been labeled by some a domestic terrorist for something he is calling an honest mistake.
“I am the person who likes to protect people. People are going to think I’m a bad person, but I’m not. I do like to do jobs that I feel like are protecting people. It is the way I am. It sucks that my name has been cra**ed on that way. But the people who know me know I’m not a bad person and would not hurt anyone like that,” Beeler said.
Beeler says his next court appearance is scheduled for a couple months from now and hopes to put the entire situation to rest.