Charges for alleged robbery at Alderwood mall

  • Wed Sep 1st, 2010 8:13am
  • News

By Rikki King Herald Writer

EVERETT — The Snohomish couple planned to celebrate part of their 60th wedding anniversary at Alderwood mall.

Instead, on Aug. 18, they were robbed in the parking lot. Their attacker held a knife to the husband’s stomach and ran off with the leather pocketbook he’d made for his wife.

Within days, Lynnwood police arrested Joshua D. Rockwell, 25, of Everett. They said he matched surveillance footage of a man running through the parking lot, clutching the pocketbook.

Rockwell was charged Tuesday in Snohomish County Superior Court with first-degree robbery. He is jailed on $100,000 bail.

Publishing the surveillance footage from the robbery brought calls from numerous sources, including Rockwell’s family, said Ross Adams, a detective with Lynnwood police.

Rockwell has a long, troubled history, much of it tinged with chronic mental illness, court records show.

Described in records as a paranoid schizophrenic, Rockwell also is a registered sex offender with a history of failing to show up for court dates.

He was under Department of Corrections supervision from August 2005 to March 2009, spokesman Chad Lewis said.

During that time, Rockwell was jailed at least four times for violating the terms of his supervision.

Two of those violations landed him in custody for several months. His time in jail apparently overlapped with court-ordered stints in Western State Hospital.

A case status report from 2007 describes Rockwell as suffering from auditory and visual hallucinations. He’s often said people are conspiring to harm him.

In 2007, hospital officials asked the courts for permission to forcibly medicate Rockwell. They said he was a high risk for endangering others and “committing future criminal acts” because of his “impulsive and assaultive behavior.”

A similar 2008 report said Rockwell has little insight into his mental illness and was likely to stop taking his medicine when released from custody. According to the report, he was known to become violent when not taking medication.

The 2008 report says that without careful monitoring, Rockwell was a high risk for “acute relapse,” including “criminality and future violence.”

“… Even if his symptoms are under better control with medication, he still poses a risk for violence if he is provoked,” a forensic psychologist wrote.

Rockwell is expected to appear in court soon on the new charges.

The Snohomish woman’s pocketbook contained $60, credit cards and some personal items, according to court papers.

Rikki King: 425-339-3449;