Alert police work can sometimes turn the most mundane call for service into something far from the usual.

A Sylvania Township police officer, one recent night, was dispatched to look into a complaint about a car parked in a reserved for the handicapped spot at the Walmart, 5821 West Central.

After locating the vehicle, the officer noted several open containers of alcohol in the car and decided to wait in his car nearby. In a short time, he reported that a man got into the front passenger seat.

The officer asked the man for some identifying information as they walked back toward the store to look for the driver. After the driver was located the officer was told there were two other people with them and the officer asked for backup.

As these events were occurring, the dispatcher was asking for more information on the man who had been in the car. Although each piece of information he gave was incorrect, when put together they were close enough to identify the individual as Darius Johnson, 30, of Tecumseh St. The dispatcher added that he was on parole for a felonious assault conviction and wanted on four warrants by Toledo police.

Backup officers had arrived and as the officer was in the process of securing Mr. Johnson he also began a pat-down search. He felt and announced the suspect had a handgun in his right pants pocket.

At that point, Mr. Johnson broke free and began to flee across the nearly empty Walmart parking lot.

He was chased for 100 to 150 ft. when he was struck by a taser and disabled.

Deputy Chief Jim Rettig said it was a good example of why police can never let down their guard, even when the initial circumstances make it look like there may have been a relatively minor infraction.

“You never know what’s going to happen when you’re dispatched to a scene. You just never know.”

Mr. Johnson was charged with resisting arrest; falsification, for giving false identification information: theft, for earphones he allegedly stole from Walmart and having a weapon under a disability, because as a convicted felon he is not allowed to possess a gun.

Deputy Chief Rettig added that the weapons charge has been referred to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for prosecution as a federal crime.


Written by: Mike Jones, Public Information Officer

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