According to the Peoria Police Department, twenty-two-year-old (22) Joel Johnston was arrested and is facing charges of aggravated assault to an Officer, five counts of aggravated assault to firefighters, one count of resisting arrest and one count of consuming liquor in public. The incident occurred after Peoria Police Officers received a call about a possible intoxicated juvenile walking down the street in the area of 83rd Avenue and Deer Valley Road. When Officers found Mr. Johnston, he was passed out holding an open bottle of tequila. After Officers verified that Mr. Johnston was over the legal drinking age, they attempted to arrest him for public consumption of alcohol. However, Mr. Johnston began to fight the two (2) Officers who were trying to handcuff him causing two (2) small injuries on one of the Officer’s arms. Officers placed Mr. Johnston in the patrol car, but he began banging his head on the patrol car’s window and divider causing him to bleed heavily. When paramedics attempted to treat Mr. Johnston, he kicked one (1) of the paramedics in the stomach, and spit blood and saliva on seven (7) Peoria public safety employees. According to reports, a Peoria Fire Department Captain got Mr. Johnston’s blood in his eye and mouth. Mr. Johnston was transported to a local hospital to be treated for his injuries and was later taken to the Peoria Police Department. In an interview, Mr. Johnston told Officers that he did not remember anything except drinking the alcohol.
According to Arizona Revised Statute § 13-1204, “A person commits aggravated assault if the person commits assault . . . under any of the following circumstances . . . (8) If the person commits the assault knowing or having reason to know that the victim is any of the following: a peace officer . . . a firefighter . . . a paramedic . . . .” Under Arizona law, aggravated assault on a Peace Officer may be charged as a Class 4, 5 or 6 Felony depending on the circumstances of the offense. Further, in Arizona, a person charged with aggravated assault may face penalties such as five (5) to fifteen (15) years in prison for a first offense, ten (10) to twenty (20) years in prison for a second offense and fifteen (15) to twenty-five (25) years in prison for a third offense.
If you have been charged with assaulting a Peace Officer, contact the top criminal defense attorneys at Oracle Law Group for assistance with your criminal case.