The Washington Post

Bail at $2 million for armed man arrested in Seattle

A judge set bail at $2 million Friday for a Las Vegas man arrested near the University of Washington in a truck that authorities say contained multiple weapons, maps to three college campuses and a recording in which he said he planned to do something in the West to support protesters demanding reform in Brazil.

King County Judge Arthur R. Chapman said he set a high bail for Justin Jasper because he considered the 22-year-old a flight risk and a threat to the community.

At the bail hearing in Seattle, a prosecutor said authorities found six firebombs in the vehicle, along with a bolt-action rifle, a double-barrel shotgun, a machete and several knives. They also found a recording of a podcast that appears to have Jasper expressing support for protesters in Brazil.

More than 1 million demonstrators have taken to the streets in Brazil over the past month, with the state of public services and the billions of dollars spent preparing for next year’s World Cup soccer tournament and the 2016 Olympics among their grievances.

Police found evidence that Jasper was planning some kind of action in support of those protesters, said Senior Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Andrew Hamilton. Hamilton said that on the podcast, Jasper said he was going to back the “Brazilian revolution” by doing something “somewhere in the Western United States.”

“I’m going to make sure people understand and notice it,” he allegedly said on the podcast.

Authorities said they also found maps in the truck to the University of Washington, Seattle University and South Seattle Community College. Court documents identified Jasper’s occupation as a self-employed journalist. He has not yet been appointed a public defender.

Montana authorities said Jasper stole a pickup truck and guns from a truck driver in Butte who had let Jasper stay at his home. The trucker reported Wednesday that he returned from a trip to find his pickup missing and guns stolen from his home, said Butte-Silver Bow Undersheriff George Skuletich.

The Seattle Times identified the trucker as Erik Henderson. Jasper had been staying at the truck driver’s home for about a month.

Henderson discovered his pickup, guns and body armor missing Tuesday after returning home from 11 days on the road. He said he had body armor from his days as a contract convoy trucker in Iraq.

Henderson said Jasper described himself as an “anarchist,” the Times reported. He said Jasper had concerns in areas such as the chemical industry, genetically altered foods and voting rights.

Jasper was arrested Wednesday after University of Washington police were told to watch for a truck that had been stolen in Montana. University police had seen Jasper sleeping in a truck near campus Tuesday night. University Police Chief John Vinson said nothing came up in their system when the officers checked the plates Tuesday.

Vinson said the man in the truck had a scoped rifle, a shotgun and fewer than 10 Molotov cocktails.

“We have no idea what his intentions are,” Vinson said. “This is a very active investigation. We’re trying to rule out everything at this point.”

On Thursday, Vinson said there did not appear to be any threat to the university campus.

— Associated Press

Matt Volz and Ted Warren contributed to this report.


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