After Tuesday's of a man wanted for the attemped murder of his mother-in-law in Washington state, Patch readers began asking how it could be that the man was living on the aircraft carrier.
Todd Stuart, 48, began volunteering on the ship last May, according to the USS Hornet's chief executive officer Randall Ramian.
Stuart served as part of a crew of about 50 volunteers who provide security and other support for the carrier, Ramian said.
This fall, Stuart, who was also staying with a relative in Alameda, according to Ramian, began spending more nights on the ship.
"We have several people who stay on board the ship at night for security reasons," Ramian said. In addition to safeguarding the museum artifacts they make rounds and are on alert for intruders and other issues, such as fire.
"It's good to have a nighttime presence," Ramian said. "This is typical for museums."
Ramian says background checks are conducted for all Hornet volunteers, and that the process is a thorough one. But, he said, because the warrant for Stuart's arrest was issued six weeks ago, it did not show up when they did their security checks last spring.
"This completely blindsided all of us," said Ramian, who said he happened to be coming outside to get a sandwich from a lunch truck Tuesday and saw the arrest taking place. "It is very unfortunate."
Ramian said he met Stuart when he came on as a volunteer, and had periodic contact with him since, but that his work was overseen directly by the museum's volunteer coordinator.
"Stuart had 24 years of Navy service, he was honorably discharged, there were no red flags that I was aware of at that time that would have created a concern for me or other folks," Ramian said.
Ramian said other volunteers and employees at the Hornet were shocked by the arrest.
"The last thing I expected Tuesday was for this to happen," Ramian said, "and I think everyone else felt the same way."