Deputy accused of hog-tying woman with belt

Alachua County Deputy Russell Johnson charged with false imprisonment


ALACHUA COUNTY, Fla. – An Alachua County deputy turned himself in to authorities Friday morning on a charge of false imprisonment.
Deputy Russell Johnson, 46, works for the Alachua County Sheriff's Office.

The Alachua Police Department filed a sworn complaint against Johnson on Nov. 9, detailing allegations of battery, false imprisonment and witness tampering. However, Johnson was only charged for false imprisonment.

The complaint said that on Nov. 7, Johnson and a woman became involved in an altercation that turned physical. The report said it began over each person looking through the other's cellphones.

Both were drinking alcohol at the time of the fight, according to the complaint.

The woman said Johnson became aggressive, grabbed her arms and called her derogatory names.

The woman said she tried to leave with her dog, but Johnson reached through the window of her vehicle and took her keys, the complaint said.

She said she punched Johnson, but was unable to stop him from removing her keys. She said Johnson threw the keys and her cellphone into the woods.

The complaint said the woman ran to a neighbor's house for help, but Johnson grabbed her by her hair and pulled her off a gate and back to the home.

According to the complaint, the woman ran inside the house and grabbed Johnson's small pocket knife from the table. She told investigators that Johnson repeatedly said he was going to "put two in her chest and one in her mouth."

The woman said she tried to call 911 twice, but Johnson pulled the phone from the wall.

The argument moved into the living room, where Johnson picked up his work radio and appeared to call in the incident, the complaint said.

At that point, the woman threw the knife to the floor and Johnson grabbed her, put her on the ground and restrained her with handcuffs, according to the report.

She told police that Johnson told her she was under arrest and started reading Miranda rights.

The woman said Johnson used a belt to connect the handcuffs to leg shackles and "hog tied" her, according to the report.

She told investigators that he left her in that position for about 30 minutes before putting her in his patrol vehicle.

She said she asked Johnson when the cops were coming and he said he canceled the call and that she was "one lucky b****," the report said.

The complaint said Johnson took her back in the home, where she asked to use the bathroom.

The report said Johnson told her to "piss her pants because that's what fat dirty whores do." The report said she begged him to let her use the bathroom, and he eventually took her there, but made her urinate with the handcuffs still on.

She told investigators that he eventually removed the handcuffs and they both went to bed.

The woman said Johnson made her sleep next to him with his gun belt between them in case she tried to do something.

The next morning, Johnson helped her find her car keys in the woods across the street, and she loaded her dog into the car and left the home, the report said.

The woman waved down a passing police officer to report the incident.

The report noted that there are no independent witnesses to the altercation.

Alachua County Sheriff Sadie Darnell placed Johnson on administrative suspension on Nov. 10, pending the outcome of a criminal investigation.

The State Attorney's Office formally initiated criminal charges against Johnson earlier this week, charging him with one count of false imprisonment.

A judge issued an arrest warrant for Johnson on Thursday.

He voluntarily turned himself in Friday morning to the Alachua County Sheriff's Office where he was booked and released.

Johnson remains on administrative suspension pending the outcome of an internal investigation.

News4Jax attempted to contact Johnson for comment, but no one answered at a number listed for him.

About the Authors: