YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) — A Mahoning County grand jury Thursday indicted a man who reports said jumped into the Mahoning River following a chase by city police.
Kimani Johnson, 32, of Youngstown, was charged with failure to comply with the order or signal of a police officer, being a felon in possession of a firearm and tampering with evidence, all third-degree felonies; and fifth-degree felony counts of possession of a controlled substance and obstructing official business.
Johnson is in the Mahoning County jail on $25,000 set in municipal court two days after his arrest. He is expected to be arraigned Tuesday in common pleas court.
Reports said police tried to pull over a car Johnson was driving at about 4:25 p.m. Sept. 30 at Falls Avenue and Thorn Street for speeding. The car stopped and an officer approached it, but the driver drove away at speeds of up to 90 miles per hour, reports said.
Reports said the car got on Interstate 680 north, collided with another car, and then collided with the concrete median and stopped. Johnson and a passenger both ran away toward the Salt Springs Road exit.
The passenger was caught at the bottom of a hill, but Johnson jumped into the river and tried to swim away, reports said. Police tried to talk him out after he said he couldn’t swim, but Johnson grabbed a log and tried to get away, reports said.
Three officers jumped into the river to get him as Johnson struggled to stay above water, but he somehow made it to the opposite bank where an officer who was waiting took him into custody.
Inside the car Johnson was driving, reports said police found 16 pills and a loaded .45-caliber handgun that was reported stolen earlier this year in Youngstown.
Johnson is not allowed to have a gun because of a 2013 conviction on a possession of cocaine charge in common pleas court.