KULPMONT, Pa. -- A 38-year-old Kulpmont man allegedly pulled a handgun from an officer's holster and punched the patrolman in the face as police attempted to take him into custody following a disturbance at his home Monday.
Jason Michael Johns, of 1229 Scott St., was arraigned at about 10:15 a.m. Tuesday by Magisterial District Judge Hugh Jones on felonies of aggravated assault, robbery and disarming a police officer, and misdemeanors of simple assault, resisting arrest and disorderly conduct relating to the altercation with police.
The defendant was committed to Northumberland County Prison in Sunbury in lieu of $30,000 cash bail and is scheduled to face a preliminary hearing on the charges Oct. 5.
Police said the altercation with police followed incidents in which Johns became upset over a recent breakup with his fiance. Johns cut himself while smashing items inside the residence and produced a 9mm handgun, police said.
The charges were filed by Kulpmont Police Chief Richard Wilson III.
According to a criminal complaint, Johns' stepfather, Lee Konjura, came to Kulpmont Police Station at 5:40 p.m. Monday to report that Johns was acting erratically after becoming upset over the recent breakup with his fiance after 11 years of living together. Konjura told police his stepson had suffered an arm laceration from smashing items inside the home.
Konjura reported Johns was arguing with people on the telephone and allegedly produced a 9mm handgun that he cocked and placed on a table, which prompted Konjura to exit the home for his own safety.
Wilson and Officer Cade Holden then responded to Johns' home, where they observed the defendant throwing items over a porch railing onto a pile of debris on the sidewalk.
Wilson said Johns went back inside the home as the officers approached the residence. After Wilson knocked on the front window, Johns' mother, Barbara Konjura, came to the front door and was told by police that they needed to talk to her son.
At that point, police said Johns exited the front door and began yelling on the front porch about his fiance breaking up with him. Johns then turned to go back inside the home, but was instructed by Wilson to come down to the sidewalk and talk with him, and also was ordered to stop yelling.
At that time, Wilson said Johns approached him in an aggressive manner, yelled at him and pointed his finger in his face. After Wilson advised Johns twice to step back and move his hand away from his face, Johns shouted, "Go ahead and (expletive) arrest me."
Wilson said he then advised Johns to step toward the street between Holden and himself. Johns placed his hands behind his back and was ordered by Wilson to get down on his knees. Wilson, who noticed Johns had his right forearm wrapped in a blood-soaked rag, then approached the defendant, who grabbed onto Wilson's right leg. After Wilson forced Johns to the ground, Holden was able to handcuff his left wrist. But Johns continued to resist arrest even more, forcing Wilson to spray him with pepper spray.
Wilson said he noticed that Johns had pulled Holden's handgun from his holster, which fell onto the sidewalk before being retrieved by Wilson, who called for assistance.
Police were then able to handcuff Johns' other wrist before taking him into custody.
As emergency medical personnel were summoned to treat Johns and Wilson, the defendant became unruly again and began shouting and cursing despite being warned to stop.
While Johns was resisting arrest, the defendant punched Holden in the face. Holden also suffered abrasions to his elbows and knees while Wilson suffered an injury to his left hand, which was bleeding near the knuckles.
Wilson said the uniforms of both officers were torn and will require replacements. The police chief said a wrist watch and gloves also were damaged during the altercation.
Copyright 2011 - The News-Item, Shamokin, Pa.
McClatchy-Tribune News Service