Benton Harbor cop fired, charged with assault
BERRIEN COUNTY, Mich. – A former Benton Harbor Public Safety Officer was arraigned on a charge of assault with a deadly weapon. The charge stems from an incident on May 10th, where he's accused of hitting a suspect with his squad car.
PSO Steve Johnson was suspended and then fired after superiors watched dash cam video of the incident.
According to court documents from the arrest in May, Johnson and two other officers were trying to stop Ron Glover Jr. for driving a bicycle without a headlight. Glover fled on his bicycle and was eventually hit by Johnson's car. Arrest documents says Glover had marijuana on him and was wanted as a parole absconder.
Johnson's attorney says Johnson did not mean to hit Glover.
“He fled 3 officers in an attempt to apprehend him. During that attempt to apprehend him, officer Johnson and the suspect were involved in an accident. That’s what it boils down to. It was an accident where the vehicle struck the individual.” Attorney Marc Curtis said.
While trying to get a statement from Johnson himself, Curtis went after our camera. He's seen covering the lens. He then grabbed at the camera and shoved ABC57's reporter.
A judge set Johnson's bond at $15,000. He posted it while in court and walked out of the courthouse minutes later.
Curtis says Johnson is going through a grievance process through the police union as well.
ABC57 news requested Johnson's personnel and discipline files. We are also working to get the dash cam video from the incident.