KANSAS CITY, Mo. — A Kansas City VA Medical Center employee says he was threatened at work with a grenade and said he believes it was racially motivated.
Richard Page-Bey said he found the grenade at his workstation on Sept. 25 with the words “Richard please pull pin” written around the device.
“I am the only Richard in that department. I knew it was directed at me,” Page-Bey said. “I made a complaint saying I needed help, and I got that back. Someone took it down without calling the police first, and they didn’t know if it was real or not and start erasing all the information off so you couldn’t find out who actually did it. That’s what hurt me the most.”
Page-Bey is a former Marine veteran who served in Vietnam. He has worked at the VA Hospital for 10 years as an inventory manager in the logistics department. He said this is the first time he has been directly targeted and believes it is racially motivated.
“It’s racism, discrimination, everything going on in the logistics department,” Page-Bey said. “It’s a hostile work environment, and everyone is at each other’s throat. The person who put that there is not playing. It’s just a sign, ‘If you don’t get out of here, get out our way, we are going to hurt you.’”
In a statement to NewsNation affiliate WDAF, a Department of Veterans Affairs spokesperson said the following:
“The Kansas City VA Medical Center is investigating this complaint. Based on the outcome of the investigation, the facility will take appropriate action.”
Page-Bey said he is using sick days to stay away from work and has requested a department change.
“It’s one of the best places to work in the world, and I love working there, but I can’t work there when I feel like I am being threatened and my life is being threatened,” Page-Bey said. “I couldn’t believe it. I already went through war and I fought for this country, and then I see this. I have to go through war again.”
An official report was filed with KCVA Police.
Bey’s attorney, Nimrod Chapel Jr., also gave WDAF this statement:
“Mr. Bey is suffering after finding a grenade on his desk. The grenade was placed in Mr. Bey’s work area immediately after Mr. Bey complained of discrimination from a coworker. There are many discrimination complaints against the same facility.
“He is a veteran and a employee of the Veterans Administration. If there’s any place that Mr. Bey should be safe, the VA was supposed to be it. Men and women who have served this country travel great distances to Kansas City every day to receive care, but the administration that has allowed a culture of discrimination, harassment and retaliation has now failed in its obligation to our veterans – safety.
“As his attorney, we demand a full investigation of This act of potential domestic terrorism and the discrimination alive in the VA that gave birth to it.”Nimrod Chapel Jr.
NewsNation affiliate WDAF contributed to this report.