Thursday, June 28, 2007
By TOM QUIGLEY
POHATCONG TWP. | Sometimes even war heroes change.
When Marine Ryan M. McVey set off to battle the enemy early in the Iraq war, he served on a combat support group, security checkpoints and prisoner-of-war camps near Baghdad.
Now he's sitting in Hunterdon County Jail after being charged with threatening to kill his ex-girlfriend's family.
McVey enlisted in the Marines at about the time the Iraq war began in March 2003. He was part of a patriotic response that included some of his friends who also enlisted.
His 21st birthday came and went as his parents sat with their eyes glued to the television for hours at a time watching the news reports from Iraq.
Pohatcong Township resident Jim McVey said his son's problems are at least partly the result of the war.
"He served his country," Jim McVey said. "Now, we're trying to get him into a rehab "
Police said the younger McVey arrived drunk at his ex-girlfriend's home in Clinton Township early Saturday. It was about 12:25 a.m.
The 34-year-old woman, whom police did not identify, said McVey screamed at her, smashed a bottle of wine, threw a clothes rack and threatened to stalk her.
The 25-year-old McVey then threatened to kill her family and anyone she dated, police allege.
The former Marine told the victim if she called police he would disarm and kill the officer with the officer's service weapon.
Police said McVey fled the home in his father's pickup and the elder McVey told police to consider the truck stolen. Jim McVey said he later relented when he realized a conviction for felony car theft would leave his son with a lifelong criminal record.
"I don't want that," he said. "Someday he might turn his life around and that would hurt him."
A police account of that early morning confrontation detailed the search and capture of McVey.
As his ex-girlfriend sat in police headquarters filling out some paperwork, Ryan McVey returned to her home and hastily left when her father told him he would call police, authorities said.
New Jersey State Police troopers apprehended McVey shortly after that and turned him over to Clinton Township police after charging him with drunken driving.
Clinton Township police charged him with terroristic threats, criminal mischief and harassment.
The younger McVey remained Wednesday night in the Hunterdon County Jail in lieu of $3,500 bail.
"He wants us to post his bail," Jim McVey said. "We're not doing that."
Jim McVey said he hopes this most recent incident will spark a new beginning for his son. He said his son's alcoholism problem is severe and now he's at "rock bottom."
His son's alleged victim has obtained a restraining order, police said.
During a 2003 interview, Jim McVey said his son's experiences in the war would undoubtedly help him grow a lot.
But now corrections officers are keeping watch over the man who kept watch over captured Iraqis.
Reporter Tom Quigley can be reached at 908-475-8184 or by e-mail at email@example.com.
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