Stevenson accused of criminal trespass, violating anti-harassment order

The man involved in a 90-minute standoff with Bainbridge Island police last week outside Bainbridge High was arrested after authorities determined he had violated an anti-harassment order that was meant to keep him away from a 17-year-old girl.

Robert Ellis Stevenson, 24, was taken into custody by Bainbridge police near the Rite Aid at the Island Village Shopping Center on Wednesday after he allegedly violated a temporary restraining order that banned him from coming within 500 feet of the high school.

According to a Bainbridge police report, Stevenson was seen driving west on High School Road past the high school in a Cadillac Seville at about 8:30 a.m. Wednesday.

An officer who had been assigned on special duty at the high school because of the earlier standoff heard Stevenson honk his car horn as he drove past, and three witnesses said they saw him wave as he went by the school.

A few minutes later, the Bainbridge officer saw Stevenson go past the school again, this time driving east on High School Road.

The week before, on Nov. 1, Stevenson had been given a "no trespass letter" by Bainbridge police that banned him from school property.

The letter was prompted by a 90-minute standoff the day before when Stevenson was found parked behind the high school the morning of Oct. 31 and refused to leave. He displayed a knife and police said he had made remarks on Facebook that some at the high school found threatening.

Bainbridge police later said that Stevenson has a history of mental illness, but said substance abuse was largely to blame for the standoff incident at the high school.

Stevenson received an evaluation by Kitsap Mental Health Services after the standoff ended peacefully and was later released.

His arrest this week followed multiple reports of Stevenson or his vehicle being sighted on school property or nearby.

Bainbridge Island Police Chief Matthew Hamner said Wednesday that police did not have probable cause to arrest Stevenson before Nov. 6.

After Stevenson drove past the high school on Wednesday, Nov. 6, police began to patrol the parking lot at the Island Village Shopping Center after learning the 17-year-old girl who had received an anti-harassment order against him had gone to Safeway to run an errand.

While police were in the High School Road area, Stevenson came to the Review office on Hildebrand Lane to complain to the newspaper about his comments being removed from the chat thread on an online story about the standoff.

Stevenson made several threats before leaving the newspaper. A few hours later, Hamner stopped Stevenson and talked to him after someone had reported seeing him at the Rite Aid store.

Two other Bainbridge officers arrived and placed Stevenson under arrest.

In a police report, Bainbridge police noted that Stevenson had been making comments about the teenage girl and was apparently trying to contact or intimidate the girl and her family.

"Junior young lady at BHS has filed a restraining order against me," Stevenson wrote in one online post, followed by, "I have no beef with this girl whatsoever! I love her as I love myself and every single one of you!"

In another post, he apparently tried to talk to the girl's mother by posting, "Please carefully read the BIreview posts I made this morning."

"If you like we can connect with this family and clear things up a little. Ball is in your court, I am good whatever happens."

Authorities said he attempted to try to intimidate the girl's mother by writing, "Your daughter does not want this. You are alone, out of your league."

Police did not question Stevenson after he was arrested; he asked for an attorney after he was read his rights.

While in his holding cell, according to a police report, he apologized for honking at a security officer as he drove past the high school.

As he was being taken to Kitsap County Jail Thursday, police said Stevenson said, "I don't understand why I am being arrested. I was on a mission to go by the high school."

Stevenson was charged in Bainbridge Island Municipal Court on Thursday, Nov. 7 on two criminal complaints; for violation of an anti-harassment order and first-degree criminal trespassing.

Violation of a anti-harassment order carries a maximum 365-day jail sentence upon conviction and up to a $5,000 fine, or both.

A conviction on first-degree criminal trespassing also carries a maximum 365-day jail sentence and up to a $5,000 fine, or both.

Stevenson is being held in the Kitsap County Jail. Bail has been set at $40,000.

A pretrial conference on the two charges has been set for Tuesday, Nov. 12.


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