WATERVLIET, MI – On Friday December 21st, 2018 at 4:45PM, a 43 year old female resident of Watervliet Township requested that Berrien County Sheriff’s Office Deputies check her home in the 5400 block of Forest, as she felt her boyfriend, who had valid warrants for his arrest, might be hiding inside of her residence.
While the deputies were searching the residence, Joshua Richard Petersen, 35-years-old, of Hartford City, had barricaded himself in a bedroom and he claimed to possess a firearm and he threatened to shoot anyone, who entered the bedroom. The deputies than secured the residence and requested additional assistance from the above mentioned agencies.
The deputies, troopers, and officers from the various agencies spent the next five hours in intensive negotiations with Joshua Petersen in an attempt to get him to surrender peacefully. After the continuous negotiations failed, the deputies, officers, and troopers entered the bedroom, where Joshua Petersen was barricaded.
The deputies, officers, and troopers utilized a police canine and “less lethal” devices to subdue Joshua Petersen and take him into custody. After Joshua Petersen was taken into custody he was observed to have self-inflicted wounds on his arms.
During the five hour negotiation period, Joshua Petersen threw a utility knife at the officers, however nobody was hit or injured. At the time Joshua Petersen was subdued and taken into custody, he was holding a piece of metal that was shaped to resemble the appearance of a handgun, however no “real” handguns or firearms were located inside of the residence.
Due to the restraint shown by the deputies, troopers, and officers during this five hour negotiation session, nobody was injured or hurt.
Joshua Petersen was accessed at the scene by Pride Care Ambulance Service for his self-inflicted wounds and he was then transported to Spectrum Lakeland Hospital for treatment of his injuries. After Joshua Petersen was treated at Spectrum Lakeland Hospital, he was lodged at the Berrien County Jail on the above mentioned charges.
Joshua Petersen will be arraigned in the Berrien County Trial Court on the above mentioned charges and he will also have to appear in the Van Buren County court system to answer to the Failure to Appear Bench Warrants.
Based on records from the Michigan Department of Corrections, Petersen is a registered Sex Offender. His crimes date back to 2002. He was previously convicted for:
- Criminal Sexual Conduct, 4th Deg (Force or Coercion)
- Breaking & Entering a Building With Intent
- Home Invasion – 2nd Degree
His current charges are:
- Two Counts of Assault with a Dangerous Weapon
- Four Counts of Resisting & Obstructing a Police Officer
- Two valid criminal bench warrants out of Van Buren County for Failure to Appear
Joshua Petersen is presumed to be innocent until he admits responsibility or is found guilty of the charges.
Agencies that assisted during this incident are:
Berrien County Sheriff’s Office.
Watervliet City Police Department
Coloma Township Police Department
Michigan State Police.
Pokagon Band of Potawatomi Tribal Police
Pride Care Ambulance Service.
Watervliet Fire Department.