Judge: Woman ‘irresponsible’ in fleeing police
YOUNGSTOWN — Lily L. Johnson 24, of Homewood Avenue, was sentenced to six months in the Mahoning County jail Wednesday for leading Youngstown police on a chase.
She had called them to her home Sept. 6, 2020, over a domestic dispute with the father of her two children.
Johnson pleaded guilty earlier to failure to comply with the orders of a police officer and could have gotten up to three years in prison.
Judge R. Scott Krichbaum of Mahoning County Common Pleas Court said he would not send her to prison because no one got hurt and Johnson had no previous criminal record.
But he said: “I do believe you need to be punished and made an example of for your deliberate disregard for anything and everything but your desire to get to your grandmother’s house or wherever you were going.”
During the hearing, Johnson’s attorney, Bradley Olsen, told the judge that Johnson was the person who called 911 and that a dispatcher advised her to “leave the area to quell the disturbance.”
Johnson was outside the home with her two children preparing to leave when police arrived. An officer first spoke with the father of her children, who said Johnson had just assaulted him. An officer pulled his car near hers and activated his lights and siren just as she pulled away in the car, police said.
A short distance down the road, she waved the officer to go around her and then continued to drive and ignore the officer’s overhead lights and siren.
After a chase, she stopped the car in the front yard of a home on Early Road on the East Side. Johnson got out and tried to remove one of two children from the back seat, but the officer stopped her and took her into custody after a brief struggle, police said.
Krichbaum read from the police report, which indicated Johnson traveled at 50 and 60 mph with a police car behind her using lights and siren.
“Do you have any idea how much danger you put not only the police officer but you and these kids you say you care about, and everybody else who might be in the way, while you were speeding away from the cops who were trying to stop you?” the judge asked.
“I don’t know what caused me not to stop,” Johnson told the judge. “I was just trying to get to a safe location.”
“I didn’t think you could explain it either because it’s outrageously irresponsible and disrespectful, and it is an absolute refusal to submit to lawful authority. When a cop wants to stop you, you’ve got to stop,” Krichbaum said.