LONDON, KY - Laurel County Sheriff John Root and Major Chuck Johnson, along with the Southeast Regional Special Response Team (SRT) led by Team Leader Detective Richard Dalrymple and Lieut. Chris Edwards, Crisis Negotiator for the Sheriff's office and a large contingent of Sheriff's deputies and detectives successfully and safely arrested Austin Johnson age 42 of London on Tuesday morning May 12th, 2020 at approximately 9:43 A.M.
The arrest occurred at a residence off Cold Hill Road approximately 6 miles west of London after Laurel Sheriff's Deputy James Fox and Deputy Justin Taylor were dispatched to a domestic violence complaint at a residence there.
Allegedly, the boyfriend of the female victim physically assaulted her overnight refusing to let her to leave, allegedly he dragged her back into the house when she tried to leave.
The victim reported to deputies that the suspect physically assaulted her and had put a pillow over the top of her face. He allegedly sexually assaulted her overnight.
At some point she locked herself in the bathroom and when she heard him elsewhere in the home, she fled out a window escaping.
Deputies located her as her boyfriend ran back inside the house barricading himself inside possibly armed with weapons and refusing to exit the residence.
The regional SRT was activated to respond to the scene.
Crisis negotiations were conducted, however the suspect failed to exit the residence and the special response team deployed gas causing the suspect to exit the house, where he was taken into custody without further incident.
Austin Johnson was charged with:
- Strangulation – first-degree
- Assault 4th degree
- Wanton endangerment -1st degree
- Unlawful imprisonment – first-degree
- Sodomy – first-degree – domestic violence
- Sexual abuse – first-degree
The victim was transported to St. Joseph Hospital London for treatment of injuries.
Austin Johnson was lodged in the Laurel County Correctional Center.
Assisting for the Laurel County Sheriff's office was: Detective Richard Dalrymple who led the regional special response team with team members: (Sgt. John Inman, Deputy Josh Morgan, Detective Kyle Gray, Deputy Hunter Disney, Officer Shannon Jones, Officer Robbie Hodge, Officer Greg Rhodes, Officer Karl Middleton, and Officer Shay Helton) Agencies represented on the Southeast Regional Response Team include: Corbin P.D., Barbourville P.D., Mt. Vernon P.D., Williamsburg P.D., Knox County Sheriff’s Office, and Laurel County Sheriff’s Office.
Also assisting for the Sheriff's office was: Laurel County Sheriff John Root, Maj. Chuck Johnson, Capt. Robbie Grimes, Lieut. Chris Edwards, Sgt. Brett Reeves, Deputy Brent France, Deputy Brad Mink, Detective James Sizemore, Detective Bryon Lawson, Deputy Rodney VanZant, and Deputy Gilbert Acciardo.
Other agencies assisting at the scene and on the case included: London City Police, and Ambulance Inc. of Laurel County.
Sheriff Root stated “It was a great group effort which ended textbook perfect with no neighbors, bystanders, officers or the accused injured.”
Photos of the Regional SRT and photos of the arrest attached to this report.