Intoxicated woman escapes patrol car, fights with police

Stock image | St. George News

LAVERKIN – Just before midnight on Wednesday, LaVerkin Police responded to a report of a fight at a home in LaVerkin. After arriving, they arrested Diana Johnson, 32, of LaVerkin, for being intoxicated and disorderly; however, after her arrest, Johnson was able to free herself from the patrol vehicle and began fighting with officers.

Diana Johnson, Of LaVerkin Utah, booking photo posted Sept. 11, 2014 | Photo courtesy of Washington County Sheriff’s Office, St. George News
Diana Johnson, of La Verkin, Utah, booking photo posted Sept. 11, 2014 | Photo courtesy of Washington County Sheriff’s Office, St. George News

When officers first arrived at the scene, Johnson was intoxicated and began yelling profanities at them, according to a probable cause statement filed by LaVerkin Police Officer Dennis Wolsleger. After getting Johnson calmed down enough to speak with him, Wolsleger told her to stay where she was so he could speak to the other party who had been involved in the fight, who was across the street from Johnson’s residence.

“I observed Diana (Johnson) come out of the house and start to cross the street,” Wolsleger wrote in the statement. “Diana was yelling about her kids not being in bed. Diana was again yelling profanities at us.”

According to the statement, officers again attempted to reason with Johnson and get her to calm down. When Johnson refused, she was arrested for public intoxication and disorderly conduct.

Officers secured Johnson in the patrol vehicle with her hands handcuffed behind her. Wolsleger then returned to speaking with the other party who had been involved in the fight.

When he returned outside, he found that Johnson had moved the cuffs to the front of her body, undid her seat belt and exited his patrol vehicle. She was actively fighting with Washington County Sheriff’s deputies who had responded to assist.

“Diana kicked one of the county officers in the leg and was fighting them all the way back to my patrol vehicle,” Wolsleger wrote in the statement. “Diana was screaming profanities and calling us fags.”

Wolsleger transported Johnson to the Washington County Purgatory Correctional Facility. Upon arrival, he found that she had once again pulled the cuffs off of her right arm.

Johnson was charged with escape from custody, a third-degree felony; assault by a prisoner, a third-degree felony; intoxication, a class C misdemeanor; and disorderly conduct, a class C misdemeanor.

At the time of this publication, Johnson has been released on $10,570 bail.

Persons arrested or charged are presumed innocent until found guilty in a court of law or as otherwise decided by a trier-of-fact.

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  • Brian September 13, 2014 at 3:40 pm

    A couple more of these incidents (bank robbery, heroin overdose, and this one), and I’ll start to feel at home, like when I lived in San Jose… Thanks stg, it only took 8 years for it to all catch up to me….. #stayclassy

    • DesertBill September 13, 2014 at 6:03 pm

      Yeah, are we reading the St. George or Mercury News? 🙂

    • Jose September 14, 2014 at 12:41 pm

      Hi, Brian this is your friend Jose . I heard you moved here so I did , the more liberal anti gun people that live here the better I like it.

  • Koolaid September 13, 2014 at 4:04 pm

    What’s her background and religious upbringing? Is she locally born and bred like many of the others caught with heroin, alcohol, dogs and horses?

  • Incompetent Cop September 13, 2014 at 4:56 pm

    What I find funny is that this poor excuse for a cop couldn’t secure a drunk lady not once, but twice!
    LaVerkin Police Department- this guy needs remedial handcuff training, and better instructions on how to properly secure a police vehicle!

    • Bad Cop! September 13, 2014 at 8:54 pm

      I know this guy. He’s a new cop, and as a person he has a very bad attitude and a very very bad temper. Appearantly , the LaVerkin City P.D. has very low standards for hiring their officers now.
      Mark my words- this guy will most likely also be the next officer that tazers/kills a guy.

  • My Evil Twin September 13, 2014 at 5:04 pm

    Seems like maybe an officer needs a refresher course in securement. At least this wasn’t as serious as the woman who shot at the K-9 officer and escaped in his car, from the detention center a few years ago. But it could have been.

  • Zonkerb September 13, 2014 at 5:31 pm

    St George isn’t responsible from these idiots we didn’t ask you to move here. By all feel free to pack up your crap and Leave

    • Chris September 13, 2014 at 8:01 pm

      Nice English. What foreign country are you from?

      • My Evil Twin September 13, 2014 at 8:50 pm

        Chris, looks to me like ZONKERB was speaking the language of too much booze.

      • Jose September 14, 2014 at 12:46 pm

        On the job Chris ? scanning for grammar again. You got good grammar , but never say anything real.

    • choppedliver September 13, 2014 at 10:11 pm

      Zonker, that is some of the finest writing I’ve seen grace the wall of my glowing electronic communication device. Bravo, may the Gods of coherent statements shine light on your mind.

    • S. Carter September 13, 2014 at 10:35 pm

      Nice try!! This is one of your very own. Yes, you can be responsible for idiots as well!! They don’t all come from out of state

      • bangem young September 14, 2014 at 12:39 am

        Years and years of inbreeding.

        • Koolaid September 14, 2014 at 7:01 am

          And drinking the koolaid

        • SSfreeze September 14, 2014 at 7:08 am

          Love the username Bangem!

    • T September 14, 2014 at 7:56 am

      My thoughts exactly.

  • Fag Basher Basher September 13, 2014 at 10:16 pm

    The Fag – Queer- Homo Etc.words Are OURS!!! Just like the “N” Word. Is 4 Blacks 2 use. So All U Str8 Uneducated Redneck IDIOTS… GROW UP & JOIN THE 21st CENTURY…

    • Jose September 14, 2014 at 12:54 pm

      Is the 21 century full of out of the closet buddy’s ? You wished.
      You we’ll never see F Q H replace fag, queer, homo, but you might see BB replace but buddy’s

      • Joyce Kuzmanic September 14, 2014 at 1:06 pm

        C’mon you guys, enough – I don’t know where this is coming from, and it seems you’re talking amongst yourselves. Stop. This is the last of this talk I’m approving, you’re making me work too hard.
        ST. GEORGE NEWS |
        Joyce Kuzmanic
        Editor in Chief

        • Jose September 14, 2014 at 1:13 pm

          I’m sorry , attacking Utah are Mormons is attack on me.

        • Doug Bringhurst September 15, 2014 at 11:57 am

          Joyce you guys are some what to blame. Car wrecks and all the other stuff is all SG News reports on. I am tired of the cop bashing in our community on the comment pages. As a local media outlet why not dig deeper and use your investigative journalism skills to spotlight all the many good things big or small our local Law Enforcement does. Until one of these fine Officers change your life forever in a good way like they did mine your readers will never appreciate them for what they do. Some Officers push it I get it, but the majority of them risk their life for us everyday and treat us with professionalism and respect. Your readers need to look at themselves and see why they would not do the Law Enforcement Officers job for the 18.00 dollars an hour and 24hr a day shift work they are required to do.

          • Concerned Citizen September 15, 2014 at 1:32 pm

            Okay Doug, but this isn’t so much a case of ‘cop bashing’ as ‘cop couldn’t do his job correctly and potentialy endangered others’, and that in itself is newsworthy.
            He failed to secure this drunk lady not once, but twice. That should be a red flag. What if it hadn’t been a mostly-harmless drunk woman? What if it had been that armed-and-dangerous bank robber the other day? If HE had gotten out, there would have been more than name calling and hurt feelings, no?
            I commend the reporters of St. George News- they give us current, local coverage. If the ‘mundane’ stories bother you, then just click to the next page!

  • Mark Vinclio September 14, 2014 at 9:25 am

    Example of the fine leadership that new Ben Lee chief has to office. Laverkin has no public safety the guy they call chief or it’s officers. Just don’t have the skill to be police officers. But I am sure they are good people.

  • EL JEFE September 15, 2014 at 8:43 am

    As a former LEO with several years of service to my-then community in that left coast state of California, let me tell you……had that officer failed to secure a prisoner not only once, but twice, he would not be an officer any longer. And it took a couple of WashCo Sheriffs officers to restrain the prisoner again. Seems like La Verkin police need additional training PRIOR to allowing new “rookie” officers out on the streets without an FTO. Back in my day, a new rookie officer spent 1 whole year on the streets with a Field Training Officer BEFORE being allowed to patrol the streets “solo”. Is La Verkin Public Safety so “hard up” for officers that they will allow anyone to become a cop? If so, I may consider coming out of retirement and become a “senior” officer of the La Verkin Police Dept. And I mean the term “senior” in the real sense.

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