Court date set for man accused of burning copies of Ponca City Monthly

June 12, 2024 | Courts|Featured

NEWKIRK — A court date is set for Joel Si McBlair, 35, Ponca City, in Kay County District Court.

McBlair is facing a felony count of grand larceny.

Ponca City police report that on Feb. 13, Kelsey Wagner, owner of Media Matters and publisher of Ponca City Monthly Magazine, reported that McBlair had destroyed magazines placed in a rack at Walmart.

A worker who delivers the magazines, reportedly told police that she delivered the magazines to Walmart and the RecPlex on Feb. 8.

On Feb. 9, a RecPlex staff member called and asked if the publication was going to be delivered as the rack was empty. 

Joel Si McBlair

The delivery person went to the Rec Plex and reportedly located the magazines in the trash. The worker went to Walmart and saw that those racks were also empty.

Wagner contacted police and reported that McBlair has called and told her that he was going to continue to take the publication because he believes it is part of the propaganda for the fascist left. 

Walmart officials reportedly told Wagner that McBlair had been in through out the week throwing the magazines away. When employees confronted McBlair and asked him to stop, he reportedly caused issues including spilling water and yelling at employees. He also reportedly told employees he uses the magazines for firewood.

Police contacted Walmart asset protection workers and reviewed footage.

Images reportedly showing McBlair collecting a huge bundle of magazines and exiting the store were located. Police report that images at the RecPlex also show McBlair taking the magazines.

Wagner, who is a Ponca City Commissioner, reportedly told police that the magazines are free but do cost $2 an issue to print. She reportedly told officers that McBlair has attended city commission meetings and publicly stated that he believes Ponca City Monthly is promoting gambling and Satanism. 

Wagner claims that McBlair has taken nearly $1,200 worth of publications and destroyed them.

On April 10, police made contact with McBlair’s mother and told her that McBlair was being trespassed from Walmart. Police also reportedly photographed a burn pit in his yard.

McBlair was charged on May 20, arrested on May 31, and is free on $2,500 bond.

A protective order is also in place on Wagner’s behalf against McBlair.

On June 11, at 5:37 p.m. police responded to McBlair’s home for a report that he was burning the magazines again. Officers reportedly advised him of city ordinances.