The 21-year-old Nevada man arrested near the University of Washington driving a stolen truck containing guns and firebombs came to Washington to “argue with some legislators” and was carrying maps of three college campuses, according to prosecutors and the Montana trucker whose pickup and guns he stole.
Justin Jasper was ordered held on $2 million bail Friday by a King County Superior Court judge, who said the six Molotov cocktails found in the blue pickup indicated Jasper “posed an imminent threat to the community.”
Police also found a deer rifle, a double-barrel shotgun, three knives, a machete and military-grade body armor in the truck, along with maps of three Seattle-area college campuses, said Senior Deputy Prosecutor Andrew Hamilton.
Erik Henderson, the Butte long-haul trucker who gave Jasper a ride from Idaho and let him stay in his home, said the body armor was his from when he was a contract convoy trucker in Iraq. The guns were hunting weapons, he said.
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Henderson, 46, said Jasper described himself as an “anarchist.”
“But you hear that from a lot of college-aged kids these days,” he said, adding that Jasper was friendly and “seemed normal.”
Jasper had a long list of gripes about topics ranging from the chemical industry to genetically altered foods to voting rights, Henderson said.
Henderson discovered his pickup, guns and body armor missing Tuesday after returning home from 11 days on the road.
Jasper, he said, had left a message saying he was driving to Seattle to “argue with some legislators about some issues he was upset at.”
Henderson said the FBI took the document.
After Jasper was arrested by UW police, Henderson told police he did not want to prosecute Jasper, whom he described as an “acquaintance,” according to the King County Jail.
Henderson said that was true, but only because he can’t afford to take time off work to come to Seattle.
“He did not have my permission to take that truck, my guns or my vest,” he said. “I’m a trusting person.”
Jasper was booked on charges of possessing an incendiary device, and Hamilton told the judge he remained under investigation for stealing the truck and guns.
Hamilton also said police found “anti-government” literature in the pickup and had located Internet postings about a number of issues, including recent protests across Brazil that have been met with violence by the police.
Jasper allegedly promised to “make sure that people understand and noticed it … somewhere in the Western United States.”
The maps detailed the campuses of South Seattle Community College, Seattle University and the UW, Hamilton said.
Jasper listed his profession as “journalist — self” on jail documents.
University of Washington police arrested Jasper Wednesday night in the 3400 block of Sand Point Way Northeast.
UW police first encountered the truck Tuesday evening during a routine patrol of the parking lot of Laurel Village, a UW housing complex. An officer questioned him after finding him asleep in the truck.
Officers released him after a check for warrants came up empty.
On Wednesday morning, UW police received notice that the truck had been reported stolen from Montana.
Wednesday evening, UW police saw the truck on campus, followed it and arrested Jasper during a high-risk felony stop.
A blog posted under the name Justin Miles Jasper contains photos of machine guns and swords with multiple references to anarchy and revolution.
Mike Carter: firstname.lastname@example.org or 206-464-3706