A man who’s accused of carjacking a FedEx van, prompting a police pursuit, faces an allegation of first-degree robbery.
Clark County Superior Court Judge Suzan Clark set bail in the case against Justin S. Fessel at $100,000 during a first appearance hearing Wednesday. Fessel, 42, is scheduled to be arraigned March 17.
Vancouver police were dispatched at 3:37 p.m. Feb. 25 to the 2200 block of Columbia House Boulevard for a report of a carjacking. When officers arrived, they spoke with the driver of a stolen FedEx vehicle, according to an affidavit of probable cause.
The driver said she was delivering a package when an unknown man, later identified as Fessel, approached her while mumbling, according to the affidavit.
Fessel had a knife in his hand and stated, “I said I need your truck, I’m not kidding,” the affidavit says.
The driver told police she was in fear of being stabbed and handed over an access wristband for the van. Fessel drove off in the vehicle, according to the affidavit.
Police tracked the van to the Interstate 5 and state Highway 14 interchange, where it stopped on the shoulder of the freeway, according to emergency radio traffic monitored at The Columbian.
Officers geared up with protective shields and other equipment before attempting to approach the van. They hailed the suspect, but there was no response initially, according to radio traffic. Then there was movement in the van; an officer could be heard on the radio stating a canine would be used, warning, “When he finds you, he will bite you.”
Shortly thereafter, the suspect was apparently on the southside sidewalk near the Interstate 5 Bridge, wielding a knife. Police relayed that traffic should be stopped at that point.
The man did not comply with commands to drop the knife, but he was speaking with an officer, according to radio traffic. Police radioed he was in custody shortly after 4 p.m.
Officers confiscated a hunting-style serrated knife. Fessel admitted to taking the van, according to the affidavit.