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Tuesday's Arrest Begs the Question: Can You Live on the Hornet?

The arrest Tuesday of a man wanted in connection with an attempt on his mother-in-law's life left readers wondering about living on the USS Hornet

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."

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Serge Wilson January 19, 2012 at 09:26 PM
Now that's some follow up, Eve! Great work, thorough, and fast too :)
Eve Pearlman January 19, 2012 at 10:01 PM
:)
frank January 20, 2012 at 04:18 PM
Yesterday I read the entire aricle from the Tri-Valley Hearld in Franklin County WA. The arrest warrant was a 'sealed warrrant' so it would not of shown up in a backround check.
joel January 21, 2012 at 06:03 PM
pleae don't blow it out of proportion they are facts noone knew and apparently not even local PD {so much for inter agency co operation wonder criminal alike run free} the hornet management could not have been aware and it is detrimental to the Hornet.

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