RIDGWAY — A Ridgway man has been jailed after he allegedly attempted to strangle a woman, struck her in the face several times and discharged a firearm inside a residence.
Michael Joseph Johnson, 43, of Ridgway, is charged with strangulation – applying pressure to the throat or neck, a felony in the second degree; discharge of a firearm into an occupied structure, a third-degree felony; two misdemeanor counts of simple assault; recklessly endangering another person and cited for harassment – subjecting another to physical contact, according to a criminal complaint filed at Magisterial District Judge James Martin’s office Oct. 10.
The Ridgway Police Department was dispatched to a North Maple Avenue residence for reports of a woman who was allegedly strangled and assaulted by a man, who also fired a gun inside of the residence. The woman reportedly fled the residence on foot, and said the suspect was Johnson, according to the affidavit of probable cause.
Officers arrived and surrounded the residence, ordering Johnson to come out with his hands in the air, but there was no response. An officer met with the victim, who said she was at home sleeping when Johnson came home from the bar reportedly very intoxicated. The victim said he allegedly punched her five or six times in the face, and grabbed her around the neck and applied pressure for 30-45 seconds, according to the affidavit of probable cause. The officer reportedly saw a goose egg on the right side of her face and numerous red marks.
The woman said Johnson also allegedly grabbed a gun and pointed it at her during their argument, and she feared for her life. He then turned and pointed the gun at the wall and discharged a single round, according to the affidavit of probable cause. He then reportedly unloaded the gun and threw it on the bed, then threw his cell phone at her and told her to call 911.
An officer said he reportedly saw Johnson pacing back and forth inside the kitchen of the residence. He exited and complied with officers’ orders.
Johnson told police that earlier that evening, he told the victim to pack her stuff and leave. When he arrived home later that night, he found her sleeping in the bed, and said she obviously never packed her belongings and left, and an argument ensued.
Johnson also said he found her cell phone and attempted to enter the password, but she had changed it, so he reportedly smashed it off of of the wall. He admittedly told police that he “lost it,” and may have punched the victim, but doesn’t remember, according to the affidavit of probable cause. He reportedly said he was “in the wrong, 100 percent,” and also doesn’t remember strangling the woman either. He admitted to also having a handgun and discharging it during the argument, according to the affidavit of probable cause. He told police that there is likely “a bullet hole in the wall.”
Johnson is confined in the Elk County Jail in lieu of $30,000 bail.