News

Fugitive hunt ends in bed at 3 a.m.

Escapee found between mattress and box springs at mom’s home


John D. ‘John-John’ Johnson was sought in connection with Feb. 14 chase, crash involving Constable Herbie Vaughan. John D. ‘John-John’ Johnson was sought in connection with Feb. 14 chase, crash involving Constable Herbie Vaughan. The hunt for a fugitive sought in connection with a multi-vehicle, high-speed chase, which claimed the patrol car of Constable Herbie Vaughan, was apprehended in a much less frantic way in the pre- dawn hours Thursday.

John D. “John-John” Johnson was arrested at his mother’s Rockdale home. Police said they found the suspect hiding between the mattress and box springs of a bed.

Johnson was arrested for evading arrest or detention with a motor vehicle (enhanced), evading arrest or detention on foot (enhanced) and manufacture/delivery of a controlled substance. He remains in custody in the county jail in lieu of $33,500 bond.

Also arrested at the scene, the south end of Marshall Street, were Johnson’s mother, 53-year old Diana Martinez, and Rachel Stevenson, 19, of Milano, identified as the fugitive’s girlfriend.

Each was charged with hindering apprehension/ prosecution of a known felon, Martinez also with impairing/interrupting public service and Stevenson with bond surrender/ failure to appear.

Both remain in the county jail in lieu of $22,500 bond.

TIP—Johnson was identified as the suspect who fled when Ofc. S. A. Smith attempted to stop his vehicle and serve a drug delivery warrant.

The chase led over several city streets and county roads. Vaughan’s patrol car was totaled when it struck a tree off County Road 304.

The suspect fled on foot after his vehicle was disabled by spike strips on FM 908.

“Of course his mother’s home was of prime interest as a place he might go and we had been there several times and searched the place,” Lt. J. D. Newlin of the Rockdale Police Department said.

Then early Thursday morning a tip that Johnson was at his mother’s home was phoned in to the Milam County Sheriff’s Department, according to Deputy Chris White.

‘MOVING’—Ofcs. Smith and Adam Assaker of the Rockdale Police Department went to the residence, along with Deputies Jay Beathard and Eddy Veracruz and Constable Vaughan.

“While searching the house the officers noticed a bed moving,” Newlin said. “They flung back the mattress and there he was.”

Newlin sa id Joh nson wa s arrested “without incident.”

“The charges against the two women are not indicative of any physical resistance,” Newlin said. “It is a crime to harbor a known fugitive, one who is being sought by law enforcement.”

The original charge against Johnson stems from a drug sweep the previous week in Rockdale by the Special Investigations Unit of the Sheriff’s Department.

Nine persons were arrested after the six-month probe into methamphetamine trafficking and a warrant was issued for Johnson’s arrest.


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