Crash suspect’s bail set at $1 million

Man incoherent at hearing

David Scott Johnson.

David Scott Johnson.

PORT ANGELES — Bail of $1 million was set Thursday for a man who moaned and mumbled throughout his first appearance in Clallam County Superior Court.

Superior Court Judge Brent Basden will review the conditions of release for David Scott Johnson, 40, at a hearing at 1 p.m. today in hopes Johnson is more responsive.

“I can’t read this,” Johnson said Thursday, slurring his speech, patting his chest, pointing to his ear, and laying his head down on a table throughout much of the 25-minute hearing.

“I don’t know who I am right now.”

Midmorning two days earlier, Johnson — a Sequim transient, according to an arrest report — allegedly set a van on fire at the Longhouse Market in Blyn.

The vehicle owner watched as he pulled the gas pump nozzle out of the vehicle, started spraying gas everywhere and flicked a Bic lighter, according to the arrest report.

“I’m serious, I’ll light it up,” Johnson allegedly threatened.

The headliner and steering wheel of the van were damaged by flames, according to the report.

Johnson then allegedly commandeered out of the parking lot a Ford F-350 pickup truck that had been reported stolen, driving it erratically down U.S. Highway 101 before crashing it into a State Patrol vehicle enforcement truck south of Discovery Bay.

Johnson, who faces potential charges in Jefferson County, was treated at Harborview Medical Center in Seattle before being jailed Wednesday afternoon.

State Patrol Officer Alfred L. Alderson, 55, remained in satisfactory condition Thursday at Harborview, hospital spokesperson Susan Gregg said.

Unable to confirm his name, Johnson was identified by a county corrections officer who knew him as a frequent jail inmate and by Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Sarah Woolman, who said his fingerprints matched.

Harry Gasnick of Clallam Public Defender, named by Basden as Johnson’s attorney, said he would address the conditions of release at today’s hearing and said he had represented Johnson.

“What I’m observing appears to be consistent with what I’ve observed in other individuals as being manifestations of substance withdrawal,” Gasnick said.

“And it appears to be a degree of extremis that is interfering with the gentleman’s ability to focus on matters at hand.”

Gasnick suggested that Johnson may need medical services.

Woolman said she will file charges in the case at a 1 p.m. hearing Monday.

Johnson is being incarcerated for investigation of first-degree arson, second-degree assault, first-degree robbery, two counts of theft of a motor vehicle and second-degree malicious mischief.

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Senior Staff Writer Paul Gottlieb can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 55650, or at [email protected] peninsuladailynews.com.

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