Photo of stolen truck man was driving when arrested. Photo courtesy of Seattle police.
SEATTLE — Police said a dangerous man is off the streets after they arrested him transporting stolen guns and Molotov cocktails inside a stolen truck on the University of Washington campus Wednesday night. Investigators said he also had body armor with him.
Authorities aren’t saying anything about potential targets, and they don’t know why he was on the campus.
But they’re lucky they caught this guy, because he almost slipped through their hands.
A UW officer first found the guy sleeping in the truck on Tuesday. When they ran the plates, nothing came back to alert them that he was a threat, so they let him go.
On July 3, police received that the truck was stolen. Officers located the truck again, pulled it over, and that’s when they found the cache of weapons.
“We don’t have any information that would suggest any type of attack,” said UW Police Chief John Vinson. “We have no idea what his intentions are — this is a very active investigation and we’re trying to rule out everything at this point.”
Campus police stopped the truck along Sand Point Way northeast Wednesday night. Justin Miles Jasper, 21, of Nevada was booked into the King County Jail early Thursday morning.
Investigators said the truck and guns were reported stolen out of Butte, Mont. Police said the suspect had something even more dangerous hidden inside the pickup.
“They were well-made — what appeared to be incendiary devices,” Seattle Police Chief Jim Pugel said. “Some would call a Molotov cocktail.”
“It’s not even like it’s like fireworks, those things are to harm people, to blow things up,” student Michael Miller said. “Why do you need body armor?”
The campus is mostly empty during the Fourth of July holiday, but the students who stuck around were shocked to hear of the bust.
“It kind of blows my mind to be honest,” student Tyler King said. “I’ve been here for two and half years now – and we get emails from the police department saying we had an armed robbery or a mugging, or that kind of deal. But nothing like including a shotgun, body armor, and a cocktail like that? Like bombs? That kind of scares me a little bit.”
Police said they are glad to get someone with all that firepower off the streets and in custody.
“Anytime that you have someone who has body armor, long guns and then also incendiary devices, that’s a significant concern,” Pugel said.
Authorities don’t think there is any threat to people on the campus.
Police said their suspect hasn’t been talking to investigators, but they’re still looking into leads tonight, along with the FBI.