For Immediate Release: 10/30/2017
Northwest Baltimore—George Johnson, 26, was convicted on four counts of False Imprisonment, four counts of reckless endangerment and fleeing/eluding an accident—for holding four hostages captive, at gunpoint for several hours. Assistant State’s Attorney Stacie Sawyer prosecuted the case.
In July 2016, an officer on routine patrol in the 3400 block of Calloway Avenue recognized a reported gold GMC Yukon. That same vehicle was wanted in reference to a rape that had occurred the day before. The officer attempted to pull the vehicle over and driver was positively identified as George Johnson, who was wanted in connection to the alleged rape.
Johnson sped off and a chase ensued for approximately 25 minutes. As he approached the intersection at North Monroe and Washington Boulevard, Johnson struck a black Honda Accord. The woman driving the vehicle was taken to St. Agnes Hospital, where she was treated and later released.
After the accident, Johnson, armed with a handgun, fled from police on foot into a nearby fast food restaurant. Johnson entered the establishment, displaying his handgun and forcing three employees a seven year old girl into the manager’s office where he held them hostage. Officers were able to clear the remaining patrons and employees from the restaurant and parking lot.
The Baltimore City Police Department (BCPD) established a command post outside of the restaurant and engaged in communication with Johnson in an effort to free his hostages. After several hours, one of three employees was released. As communication continued, a second hostage was released. Hostage negotiations had lasted for roughly five hours.
Johnson made one hostage toss his gun out of the drive through window, he then walked out of the restaurant with the remaining two hostages and little girl, all with their hands in the air. Police recovered Johnson’s semi-automatic loaded handgun outside.
Johnson was transported to BCPD headquarters, where he gave a statement during an interview admitting to fleeing from the police because he had a gun in his car. He also admitted to causing the collision in the intersection and holding the four hostages captive inside the restaurant.
"Acts of violence such as this are completely incomprehensible and those that commit them must be held accountable,” said State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby. “I applaud the bravery of the hostages from this incident and the good work of the Baltimore Police Department for negotiating their safe release.”
Johnson is facing a maximum of four life sentences for the false imprisonment counts, as well as an additional 24 years for the four reckless endangerment counts and traffic counts. His sentencing is set for December 14, 2017.