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Post by mom_in_il on Tue Jan 15, 2013 10:40 pm

Man, child reported missing in Iowa spotted in Gwinnett

11:09 AM, Jan 15, 2013
Beth Sawicki

BUFORD, Ga. -- A missing man and his 5-year-old son were involved in a police chase in Gwinnett County last week.

A police officer pulled over 33-year-old Jeremiah E. Johnson's car after the man ran a red light at the intersection of Nelson Brogdon Boulevard and Buford Highway in Buford on Jan. 11.

While running the car's information, the officer learned Johnson was reported missing in Iowa and that he had taken his son, Johnnathon Johnson, during a custody dispute with the child's mother, according to Gwinnett County Police. The officer spotted Johnnathon in the back seat of the car.

When the officer asked Johnson to step out of the car, the suspect drove away. The officer followed, but lost Johnson's car as it crossed into Forsyth County, police said.

Some of Johnson's personal belongings were discovered abandoned in Jackson County over the weekend. Gwinnett Police say Johnson is homicidal and suicidal, and they are concerned for his son's well-being.

So far, Gwinnett County Police have not been able to issue an AMBER Alert or Levi's Call for Johnnathon Johnson because his disappearance does not meet criteria set by the state, according to investigators.

Jeremiah Johnson is described as a white man, 5 feet 9 inches tall and 230 pounds, with blonde hair and green eyes. He is driving a silver 2003 Volkswagen Passat with Iowa tag 608ZDB. The car has a carrier hitch on the back and a large television attached to the back of the front seat. There are also writings around the outside of the car, including one that says "9/11 Veteran."

Anyone who sees Johnson or his car is asked to call 911 or Gwinnett County Police at 770-515-5000.
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Post by ladibug on Sat Feb 16, 2013 12:25 am

Dashboard video: Fugitive father drives into police car at 100+ mph with son in back seat
Feb. 15, 2013 12:50 PM

The man who drove his car into a police barricade Friday morning at more than 100 mph, killing himself and injuring his 5-year-old son, was running from a custody battle over the boy and had been reported suicidal, police reports show.

Police say Jeremiah Eldon Johnson, 33, led officers on a high-speed chase through several central Iowa counties before slamming his car into an empty police car on the outskirts of Indianola.

Warrants for Johnson’s arrested in Georgia were issued on Jan. 11 for allegedly abducting his 5-year-old son Johnnathen Eldon Johnson and fleeing from police, according to the Gwinnett County, Ga., Police Department.

Local police have not confirmed the identity of the child involved in Friday’s chase.

The 5-year-old’s mother reported the child missing and endangered to Des Moines police in November.

Friday’s chase began around 2:45 a.m. when a Clive police officer spotted Johnson’s car on the off-ramp from Interstate Highway 80 eastbound to Hickman Road. A license plate cover partially obscured the plate and as the officer tried to run the plate the car abruptly pulled into a truck stop.

The officer ran several possible combinations but wasn’t able to get the right license plate numbers and followed the car as it left the parking lot and pulled onto Hickman Road and back onto Interstate Highway 80 westbound, authorities said.

Around 2:50 a.m. the officer activated his lights and attempted to stop the 2003 Volkswagen Passat, police said. He reportedly could not see how many passengers were in the car.

Johnson allegedly accelerated away from the officer. The patrol car reached speeds of 110 miles per hour but still couldn’t keep up with the suspect’s vehicle. Other police agencies joined the pursuit, which stretched all the way across Warren County and into Marion County on Iowa Highway 5.

Police set up stop sticks and a roadblock in Indianola at Iowa Highway 92 and 15th Street, authorities said, and at about 3:15 the suspect’s vehicle hit stop sticks and slammed into an empty police car, police said. Footage from a dashboard camera of a nearby patrol car shows an officer stepping away from the roadblock seconds before the suspect’s vehicle smashed into the car, releasing a flash of sparks and smoke.

The suspect’s vehicle was traveling at an estimated 130 mph when it hit the patrol car, said Indianola Detective Sgt. Brian Sher. The child was found on the floor, behind the driver’s seat under a pile of clothes. It’s unclear if the child was strapped in or how he or she survived the collision, Sher said.

“Miraculous is the word I would use to describe it,” he said.

Johnson was pronounced dead at the scene. The 5-year-old was seriously injured, according to the Iowa State Patrol, and transported to Blank Children’s hospital.

Police and hospital officials declined to release any information about the child’s condition.

Johnson was wanted in Gwinnett County, Ga., on suspicion fleeing attempting to elude law enforcement, two counts of obstruction of justice, reckless driving, cruelty to a child, and other traffic violations.

On Jan. 11 police pulled over Johnson for running a red light in the Atlanta suburb of Burford in the same vehicle involved in Friday’s chase. Johnnathen was in the backseat, according to a report from the Gwinnett County Police Department.

After running Johnson’s license, police learned he and Johnnathen were reported missing out of Iowa as part of a custody dispute with the child’s mother, April Lozano.

When an officer asked Johnson to step out of the car, Johnson sped off.

Police followed at a distance, trying to avoid starting a high-speed chase and endangering the child, and eventually lost sight of Johnson, said Gwinnett Police Cpl. Ed Ritter.

“For the safety of the child we weren’t going to go into a full-blown pursuit,” he said.

During Friday morning’s chase, police reportedly did not see the child in Johnson’s car.

“If they would have found out a child was in there they probably would have called (the chase) off,” said Sgt. Scott Bright, an Iowa State Patrol spokesman. “Those pursuits become very dangerous.”

Johnson had been involved in a custody dispute with Lozano for several months. March was the last time Lozano saw the child for an extended period of time, said Sgt. Jason Halifax, a Des Moines Police spokesman.

Lozano won full custody of Johnnathen in July. She had not seen Johnnathen since March and Johnson reportedly refused to give up the child, Halifax said.

On Nov. 5, Lozano filed a missing persons report for the child with Des Moines Police and told detectives that Johnson might be suicidal and homicidal toward the child, Halifax said.

Police had no reports about Johnson’s whereabouts until he was pulled over in Georgia last month.

The custody fight was a civil matter, not a criminal issue, so until Johnson ran from police last month, he would not have been arrested for having the child, Halifax said.

It’s unknown where Johnson was living. He has addresses listed at the Fort Bragg Army base in North Carolina and at a home in east Des Moines.|head
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