CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — A Washington state man who said he was traveling to see President Donald Trump has pleaded guilty to assaulting Secret Service special agents in West Virginia.
Joshua Wills, 31, of Bremerton, Washington, admitted in federal court that he intended to drive to Washington, D.C., to meet the president. The Secret Service started investigating Wills after receiving reports he had a katana sword on his trip, prosecutors said.
Wills was arrested in October 2018 after a standoff at a campground, where he had gone to stay overnight and finish a PowerPoint presentation for Trump, court documents state.
Three Secret Service agents and local police officers confronted Wills in the park. They spoke with him for about 30 minutes, then told him he was under arrest.
“Wills pulled out his sword and brandished it at us,” Secret Service Special Agent Thomas Fleming wrote in a criminal complaint. “Officers fired two non-lethal shotgun rounds to incapacitate Wills and he was wrestled to the ground.”
Wills’ father had earlier told an agent his son was not a threat to the president and in fact “worshiped” Trump, the complaint states. His plan was to stand outside the White House gate with his sword strapped to his side. He wanted to deliver some type of evidence to the president in a package of smoked salmon from Seattle’s Pike Place Market, according to the complaint.
“One sure fire way not to see the President of the United States is to brandish a weapon and threaten the safety of local and federal officials,” U.S. Attorney Mike Stuart said.
Wills faces up to 20 years in prison. Sentencing was set for Nov. 9.