Cleveland poll worker pulls gun, arrested & fired

45-year-old man accused of pulling gun at polling place
Allen Bethea (Source: Cuyahoga Co. Sheriff's Office)
Allen Bethea (Source: Cuyahoga Co. Sheriff's Office)
Armed poll worker pulls out gun during argument. (Source: WOIO)
Armed poll worker pulls out gun during argument. (Source: WOIO)

CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) - Police said a poll worker was arrested after threatening other workers, while holding a gun, at a Cleveland polling place around noon Tuesday.

Officers said 45-year-old Allen Bethea got into a verbal argument with other workers at Louisa May Alcott School on 10308 Baltic Road. The school is serving as a polling station.

Police said the man took a .380-caliber gun from his bag. Cleveland police representatives said Bethea didn't point the gun at anyone, but verbally threatened them.

Police said Bethea left on foot. He was arrested a short time later at West 107th Street and Detroit Avenue.

The weapon and marijuana were found in his backpack. He was taken to jail.

Voting and classes continued at the school.

"We were assured by the Board of Elections and and safety officials that the incident posed no danger to occupants at our school. Polling locations at schools are separate and cordoned off from areas occupied by staff and students on election day," according to statement by Cleveland Metropolitan Schools.

A representative from the Board of Elections said that the process for applying to be a poll worker includes one question asking if the applicant is a felon. Cleveland 19 found that Bethea has a misdemeanor criminal history in Cuyahoga county.

BOE hired about 6,000 people to work at polling places Tuesday.

The BOE fired Bethea. He could face charges of aggravated menacing, carrying a concealed weapon and having a weapon under a disability.

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