News and Tribune

May 23, 2013

Report: Man threatens to set fire to vehicle while girlfriend inside

Suspect faces multiple felonies from domestic incident



A Charlestown man was arrested May 16 following a reported domestic abuse.

Janssen Ryan Johnson, 27, of 310 Berkley Road, was accused of hitting his girlfriend in the face with a laptop computer and threatening to set fire to a vehicle in which she had sought refuge, as he held a gas can and a lighter.

Charlestown police arrived to the couple’s home after the woman had called 911, according to the probable cause affidavit. 

The two have three children together.

The officer noted that when he responded to the home the woman was crying and appeared visibly shaken, and her clothing was tattered as if she had just been in a physical altercation.

When asked by the officer what had happened, the woman said, “I just got beat up by my boyfriend,” according to the affidavit. 

Johnson was also at the home when police arrived.

The woman told the officer that she and Johnson had become involved in an argument moments earlier because she had kicked him out of house the day before “due to him not having a job and causing financial problems,” according to the affidavit.

The woman told police that she had called Johnson and asked him to come to the home so she could use their only vehicle to take one of their children to a doctor’s appointment.

When Johnson arrived at the home, he immediately started to use the home’s laptop, the woman told police.

After Johnson refused to give his girlfriend the car keys, which he had in his pocket, she unplugged the laptop and again asked for the keys, she told the officer.

“... [Johnson] stood up from the floor with the laptop computer in hand and struck her in the forehead with it,” according to the affidavit. 

The officer noted in the affidavit that there was fresh swelling and redness on the woman’s forehead area.

She also reported that Johnson then pushed her against a wall and grabbed her arms so aggressively that his fingernails left cuts on her forearm.

The officer found fresh cuts and redness on her arm.

She told police she then tried to get away from Johnson by leaving the home through a side door, but Johnson got in front of her and waited for her outside at the bottom of a concrete staircase.

As the two continued to argue, Johnson “delivered a front kick from the base of the staircase, which struck her in the groin area,” according to the affidavit.

The woman said the blow made it painful for her to walk and that she was going to get treatment at Clark Memorial Hospital after she finished speaking with police. 

She told the officer that the kick was so forceful Johnson fell backward and landed on the ground.

The officer noted in the affidavit that grass was visible on Johnson’s back.

As Johnson was lying on the ground, the woman jumped from the staircase, ran to their vehicle and locked herself inside to prevent her boyfriend from further harming her and so she could call 911, according to the affidavit.

The woman reported Johnson then began banging on the exterior of the vehicle and yelling at her. He then punched his hand though the rear passenger’s window that had been patched with duct tape and began pulling the woman’s hair from outside the vehicle.

“[The woman] advised that [Johnson] then picked up a gas can from the yard and had a lighter in his hand and advised her that he was going to set the car on fire,” according to the affidavit.

The woman then called 911, which she said she believes prevented Johnson from carrying out his threat of burning the vehicle with her inside.

After she called authorities, Johnson went back into the home and the woman gathered their three children and waited outside for police to arrive.

When police spoke with Johnson, he gave a similar account provided by his girlfriend, only that he was the victim of the physical abuse, according to the affidavit.

The officer noted that Johnson showed no visible signs of being upset and had only a scratch on his collar bone, which he said he received from his girlfriend throwing him off the home’s porch.

Johnson was arrested at the home and taken to the Michael L. Becher Adult Correctional Complex.

He was later charged in Clark County Circuit Court No. 3 with domestic battery and intimidation, both class D felonies.

A $1,000 bond was posted for his release Monday.

Johnson is scheduled to return to the court for a pretrial conference on June 18.