Kingsport officer arrested following alleged assault at ex-girlfriend's home

Rain Smith • Apr 5, 2011 at 11:08 AM

An off-duty Kingsport police officer has been arrested after allegedly entering his ex-girlfriend's home, urinating on her bed, then assaulting her and her new boyfriend when they arrived at the residence.

According to an affidavit filed in Washington County court, he repeatedly refused to leave, finally complying when the male victim retrieved a firearm from his truck.

David Johnson, a KPD patrolman and K-9 handler, has been charged with domestic assault, criminal trespassing and vandalism of more than $500. The Johnson City Press reports he turned himself into Washington County authorities late Monday, while Kingsport spokesman Tim Whaley says Johnson has been suspended with pay pending an internal investigation.

Court records state the incident occurred Sunday at 58 Stonebriar Court in Washington County, Tenn. The victim, Johnson's ex-girlfriend, told police that she and her new boyfriend arrived home to find Johnson sitting in her kitchen.

Johnson had reportedly been at the residence for some time, as several empty bottles of alcohol were in the trash can. He allegedly refused to leave, prompting the other man to ask him to step outside, "hoping to get Mr. Johnson to leave while speaking with him alone." When that didn't work the two alleged victims decided to leave the residence and call police, but Johnson reportedly followed them as they walked outside.

When the victim's current boyfriend again asked Johnson to leave, Johnson reportedly, "swung at him, striking a glancing blow to the top of his head."

When the ex-girlfriend then told Johnson to stop, according to the affidavit, Johnson, "pushed her in the throat, causing her to stumble backwards." A Washington County officer that responded to the scene reports observing a red mark on the woman's neck.

The affidavit states the male victim, knowing Johnson is a police officer and may be armed, retrieved a firearm from his truck. He reportedly, "told Mr. Johnson he would defend himself and to leave," with Johnson then complying. After Johnson left the woman reportedly found he had urinated in her bed and in a pair of boots.

On Monday afternoon the Times-News contacted city officials to inquire on Johnson's status with the police department. A press release was issued Tuesday morning, stating Johnson is suspended, "pending the outcome of an internal investigation and/or court action." No further details were provided.

The press release also contained a prepared statement from Police Chief Gale Osborne, saying his department has, "zero tolerance for actions that violate the law, City policies or conduct unbecoming of an officer."

"The citizens of Kingsport have graciously provided the manpower, training and technology to get this job done," reads Osborne's quotes. "And, the men and women of the Kingsport Police Department prove themselves admirably, upholding the public trust day after day after day in often difficult and dangerous situations."

Johnson is the fourth Kingsport officer to face disciplinary action in the past three weeks. Last Monday the city of Kingsport issued a press release announcing an internal investigation into confiscated beer had prompted the resignation of Sgt. Gary Keene.

In memos dated March 22 Police Chief Gale Osborne also recommended the employment of Cpl. Tim Horne and Officer Gerald Ray be terminated.

According to personnel records the incident occurred Feb. 5 at Kings View Apartments. Ray allegedly confiscated four cases of beer from minors, then delivered it to Sgt. Keene for his personal use.

A police report on the incident, reviewed and approved by Horne, claimed the four cases of Natural Light had been destroyed. City records claim Horne knew Ray had delivered the beer to Keene.

Horne and Ray are currently appealing Osborne's recommendation of termination.

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