Former Alabama man taken into custody for Aug. robbery

December 19, 2012

A drug sweep Wednesday by Washington County detectives and state police was detrimental to a former Alabama man who had been on the lam for four months.

Ronny Pyrell Johnson, 20, formerly of Jackson, Ala., was taken into custody Wednesday morning while investigators were serving an arrest warrant connected to the sweep on Aaron Lamont Tillman, 33, at 255 1/2 Locust Ave., Washington.

Johnson initially identified himself as June Johnson, but, after 30 minutes, he admitted to his true identity, police said.

Chartiers Township police had obtained a warrant for Johnson’s arrest in connection with an armed robbery Aug. 15 in the 800 block of North Main Street in the township’s Midland section.

William Franz and Jasmine Justice told police Johnson robbed them at gunpoint while they were in their vehicle.

Justice told police she received a text message from Johnson, with whom she used to work at a fast-food restaurant, asking whether she was interested in purchasing some marijuana. She also identified him as June Johnson.

They reportedly made arrangements for the purchase an ounce of marijuana for $300. After the two arrived in Midland, Johnson approached the car and pulled up his shirt to reveal a gun in the waistband of his pants. He told them to hand over the $300, police said.

Johnson then got into the vehicle, sat on Franz’s lap and pointed the gun at his chest. Justice yelled at him to get out of the car because she was calling police. Johnson reportedly started laughing at the idea of her calling police when she was buying drugs. When she pulled out her cellphone and called 911, Johnson fled, police said.

Johnson was arraigned before District Judge David Mark on two counts each of robbery, simple assault and terroristic threats, as well as one count of false identification to police, filed Wednesday by state police. He was placed in the Washington County jail on $100,000 bond.

Kathie O. Warco has covered the police beat and transportation for the Observer-Reporter for more than 25 years. She graduated from Duquesne University with a degree in journalism.

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