GALLIPOLIS — A Crown City man was sentenced to five years in a state facility in the Gallia Court of Common Pleas Tuesday for the third-degree felony crimes of attempted kidnapping and failure to comply to a peace officer’s directions.
Jeremy Johnson, 35, fled on Farm Road May 10 in Gallipolis after Gallipolis police attempted to pull him over for a reported traffic violation.
“Obviously, going a hundred and some miles an hour on Farm Road and then weaving in and out of traffic on US 35, that’s a problem,” said Gallia Prosecutor Jason Holdren. “When he got off on (Ohio 850) and made a right, he didn’t see numerous Ohio Department of Transportation workers. And in speaking with some of those guys, they were basically jumping out of the road thinking they’re about to die. Fortunately, they were not injured, but close to being killed. That’s what makes this a felony of the third-degree.”
Johnson also had another passenger with him in the vehicle.
“That individual was not free to leave,” said Holdren. “She was requesting to be let out of the vehicle and was in fear for her life and thought she was going to die. Based on those facts, we charged the (attempted kidnapping) charge.”
Holdren said that the legal definition of kidnapping is not often what is seen in “books or movies.” He said the victim had been deprived of her liberty, and according to his office’s belief that a jury would convict when shown the legal definition, the prosecutor’s office moved forward with the charge.
Reportedly, Rio Grande police attempted to use a tire deflating device to stop Johnson’s driving after he made his way towards Rio Grande and the intersection of Ohio 554 and 850. Police reports say Johnson “slammed on his brakes” while sliding and running a stop sign at the intersection and made a left turn toward Rio Grande. The tire deflating device was reportedly placed at the intersection of Tycoon Lake Road and Ohio 554. Johnson swerved to miss the device and “narrowly” missed a Rio Grande police cruiser. Police lost sight of Johnson as they slowed to avoid hitting the tire deflating device and due to curves in the road. He was reportedly traveling at 90 to 100 mph.
The Gallia Sheriff’s Office however made contact with Johnson near Bladen Road later as police had identified him as the driver. He was taken into custody after a foot pursuit.
Johnson would ultimately plead guilty to the felony crimes. Johnson received two years on the attempted kidnapping and three for not complying with an officer’s direction.
Dean Wright can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2103.