A Kitsap County judge ordered a competency evaluation last week for Joshua J. Johannessen, the 40-year-old Bremerton man arrested on March 8 for allegedly stealing a truck at knifepoint, skirting security barriers at Naval Base Kitsap and crashing into a utility pole.
Bremerton police said Johannessen seemed paranoid and possibly under the influence of a stimulant during the incident, which sent the Navy installation into partial lockdown around 1:11 p.m., and saw an apparent standoff with Navy police, captured on video. At 2:42 p.m. the Naval base release a statement saying Johannessen had been arrested.
“He believed someone was planting bombs in his home and in the truck he was driving and that is why he came to the Navy Base,” a BPD officer wrote in a certificate of probable cause, filed in Kitsap County on March 11. “When I contacted him, I observed that he was sweating profusely despite only wearing a zip up sweat shirt, jeans and no shoes.”
Johannessen, who had a young girl with him described as approximately five years old during the incident, believed the base “was a safe place for him because he always wanted to be in the military,” the officer wrote.
On March 12, Kitsap County Superior Court Judge Kevin D. Hull ordered a competency evaluation for Johannessen a day after he was absent from an arraignment hearing because he refused to come to court, a filing states. The evaluation, to determine Johannessen’s ability to understand the proceedings before him, will take place at the Kitsap County Jail and will be performed by a mental health professional, the order states.
A Navy spokesperson said Monday that officials are looking at ways to improve gate security following the incident, but he did not go into detail.
“We’re still investigating to improve ways to prevent such incidents in the future,” Public Affairs Officer Jake Chappelle wrote in an email. “As a matter of policy, we don’t discuss specific security measures or plans.”
Bail was set at $500,000 for Johannessen, who faces one count of first degree robbery while armed with a deadly weapon, a class A felony. His next scheduled court hearing is March 28.
Gabe Stutman is a reporter with the Kitsap News Group. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.