Drug use suspected in death

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An autopsy is pending, but Richmond County Sheriff Ronnie Strength said it is possible that drugs caused the death of a Statesboro man who went on a nude rampage in South Augusta on Saturday.

Chris L. Johnson, 28, died at Medical College of Georgia Hospital after the incident in which he attacked several people and jumped headfirst into a car windshield.

An autopsy is scheduled this morning.

The Georgia Bureau of Investigation has taken control of the case at the request of the sheriff's office because Mr. Johnson died in police custody, Sheriff Strength said.

A call to Gary Nicholson, the special agent in charge at the GBI's Thomson post, wasn't returned Sunday.

At about 11:30 a.m. Saturday, a witness in Minor Place heard growls coming from a ditch near his driveway. The witness told police that when he turned around, Mr. Johnson was on the ground.

"He said (Mr. Johnson) was crawling like he was an animal or something," Sheriff Strength said.

Mr. Johnson then stripped off his clothes and attacked a man across the street, the sheriff said. The man was forced to beat Mr. Johnson with a board to get him away.

Other witnesses said they saw Mr. Johnson beat two parked vehicles, one with his head. He also attacked a man on Stevens Road who hit him in the chest with a toolbox, Sheriff Strength said.

"It appears maybe he was strung out on something, but we won't know until after the autopsy," he said.

It took about five deputies to subdue and handcuff Mr. Johnson after they used pepper spray on him, Sheriff Strength said.

Reach Adam Folk at (706) 823-3339 or adam.folk@augustachronicle.com.

WHAT'S NEXT

An autopsy on Chris L. Johnson will be performed this morning, according to Richmond County Deputy Coroner Mark Bowen.

Comments (36) Add comment
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kris011801
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kris011801 01/22/07 - 08:10 am
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we need to pray about things

we need to pray about things like this!!!!!!!!!!!!!

EdithPiaf
2
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EdithPiaf 01/22/07 - 09:15 am
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Wow! That's just awful!

Wow! That's just awful!

HUH2
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HUH2 01/22/07 - 09:36 am
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Drugs are such a powerful

Drugs are such a powerful adversary and the drugs that are out there now are more addictive than ever before. Just a very sad story. Drug and Alcohol addiction is a disease . Education and rehabilitation are key. I beleive our judges are on the right track with the "drug court" they are proposing.

WW1949
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WW1949 01/22/07 - 10:04 am
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Why would someone in their

Why would someone in their right mind make a choice to use drugs. They never win. The drugs and the dealer always do. It breaks up families and almost always ends with a person that is of no benifit to society. It would not bother me if all drug dealers were put to death or locked up to never see the light of day again.

Edward1968
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Edward1968 01/22/07 - 10:19 am
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Drug and alcohol addictions

Drug and alcohol addictions are NOT diseases. Drug and alcohol addictions are choices!! If the courts would not kick out what they consider small cases and apply the LAW it would help. Legalizing drugs as many suggest will only add fuel to an already out of control fire.

jcsorobert
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jcsorobert 01/22/07 - 10:44 am
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The citizens who defended

The citizens who defended themselves and the Deputies that risked their lives to protect those and other citizens in the area should be praised for reacting the way they did. This guy chose his destiny!

way
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way 01/22/07 - 11:14 am
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Sometimes drugs do great

Sometimes drugs do great things. Look what it did for
Ashley Smith. Got her thousands of dollars, and I saw
in the newspaper yesterday that she is marrying one of
her drug buddies that she hung with after her husband
was stabbed to death. Bet her Aunt is proud now.

HUH2
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HUH2 01/22/07 - 12:03 pm
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Marisol: With all due respect

Marisol: With all due respect do you think anyone ever chose to become an alcoholic or an addict? The center for disease control backs me on this one. I have seen very prominent people lose EVERYTHING due to addictions and I have helped them try to remain clean and sober. The disease is very real and every bit as deadly as cancer,heart disease or high blood pressure. Just because it's not contagious or perhaps you don't know any one who suffers daily with this disease does not make it any less real and deadly.

eeggers
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eeggers 01/22/07 - 01:05 pm
0
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This actually happen to a guy

This actually happen to a guy in my neighborhood as well. He WAS strung out on 5 different methinfetamins. Awefull thing to see happen to someone that is suffering from this. He spent time in jail and is now ou tbut still crazy off them drugs. Richmond county offiders need to investigate there cases some more to notice the drugs are making people do this to themselves. As for this young gentleman may god help him now...

Bigdogg
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Bigdogg 01/22/07 - 01:13 pm
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My condolences goes out to

My condolences goes out to this young man's family. Drugs are powerful and when people do drugs such as PCP or smoke marijuana dipped in formaldehyde, it will make you do things like this. People who experiment with marijuana, don't understand how different THC levels is the main reason their addiction progress so quickly. If we don't learn from others mistakes or learn to understand the addiction process, I wonder what will happen when it's our child, brother, father, husband, or relative strung out drugs?

LILTEXAS
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LILTEXAS 01/22/07 - 01:32 pm
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if augusta would open a long

if augusta would open a long term drug treatment center for those that can not get off of drugs and that doesn't have ins. maybe our jails wouldn't be so full. when they get in trouble for drugs send them to treatment for several years for help. a true drug addict needs years of long term treatment not out patient or for a week. augusta doesn't have any where to send them but to jail and they get as much there as on the street.

selah
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selah 01/22/07 - 02:06 pm
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bjonesIII - Be careful how

bjonesIII - Be careful how you sit in judgement. You or your family members, friends may just be the ones you "put to death".

Augusta Mom
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Augusta Mom 01/22/07 - 05:48 pm
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Another wasted life....what a

Another wasted life....what a shame!

SSIMSLINETTE@HOTMAIL.COM
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SSIMSLINETTE@HOTMAIL.COM 01/22/07 - 05:57 pm
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It's not only Augusta it's

It's not only Augusta it's our whole country. Our country is always willing to help others expet our own. Instead of us going forward were going backwards. Take a look around you, I mean take a good look. Everything is not just black and white it is a society as a whole. It doesn't seem to be money for the important things, just things like vacations, cell phone bills. gas cards and so on for commissiners. Yet our property taxes have been raised two years in a row with nothing to show for it. It seems to me we have alot of intelligent dummies running Augusta.

missyt66
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missyt66 01/23/07 - 04:37 am
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The most horrific thing about

The most horrific thing about drugs is that it puts honest people in jeopardy. Just think about the most innocent victims, children. Drug use is a choice, and I have chosen not to use them. Instead of people getting to the root of their internal problems, drug abuser are told that they are sick and diseased, and coddled, and given handouts. I say send them to Iraq, and let them help build that. I bet that would be all the rehab they need. I'd be glad to send my sister's no good husband. I have come to loath drug users. Besides, drug users keep drug dealers in business. My sister married a no good druggie, and he just won't go away. Sure, many televisions, vcrs, dvd players, and even vehicles have disappeared all for the love of his addiction, however. My sister seems to keep him around;my family keeps welcoming this nut back into the family. I'm the one who has taken a stance, and right now I stand alone. I've become the family problem because for some reason my expectations have risen with my age. Go figure. I guess the no good druggie can have my place at the dinner table.

selah
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selah 01/23/07 - 09:37 am
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Bravo!!!! Missyt66...you are

Bravo!!!! Missyt66...you are not standing alone. GOd is most definitely with you. I applaud your morals and high standards, we need more women like you to stand up!!

madstuff
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madstuff 01/23/07 - 10:55 am
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Drugs may not have been a

Drugs may not have been a factor. He could have been a feral child.

WW1949
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WW1949 01/23/07 - 11:00 am
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To selah, I speak from

To selah, I speak from experience with my brother who is now dead from every kind of drug he could find. He was a smart person but made his choice for drugs and lost everything and caused grief to all our family because he would never admit he had a problem. It was always somebody else that was wrong. And yes, I stand by my statement about death or prison for a person's entire life if they sell drugs. The dealers sell for profit because they take the easy way to make money and ruin lives. I have no pity for them because they are parasites to all. The courts are too easy on these people. Think about it, they sentence a person to a slow death with their trash. The person can"t hold a job and then steals from evey place they can to pay the dealer.
GOOD FOR YOU MISSYT66. Everyone in a drug users family needs to stop being easy on the user and not be an enabler. Move away from your enviroment and become the good person that you sound and appear to be.
Others let me know what you think. Am I unreasonable or not?

citizen
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citizen 01/23/07 - 11:18 am
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This is a very sad story.

This is a very sad story. Many people in our area have problems. Not just Drugs.Alcoholism, battered spouses, bills,etc... We as human do not ask for any of these to be a part of our lives. Althought we make it easy for these situations to happen by our choices. This is clearly a man that just gave up on himself. I have placed myself in some bad situations and have worked very hard not to continue to live like that only because I had people around me that believed in me and knew I was alot better then what I thought of myself. Before people bash this man. How many of you have been a support person for someone like this? Did you care about him? Do you even give a crap about your neighbor? It could be the next person to go off the deep end. This may have been just a way for this guy to be screaming out for help! Answered only by his demise. Not all "DRUGGIES" are bad people. They are in need of help and support. So get off your high horse and think about it. Who do you know needs help? God is watching.

Dblocs
1
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Dblocs 01/23/07 - 12:07 pm
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I agree with HUH? Marisol ,

I agree with HUH? Marisol , maybe you have never had anyone close to you lose control because of drugs. It is so depressing to see someone you love go through drug addiction, it's even harder to watch them die because of it. My heart goes out to the family of that still young man. My prayers are with you all.

NicoleKelly
7
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NicoleKelly 01/23/07 - 12:36 pm
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Crack kills!!!!!!!!!!!

Crack kills!!!!!!!!!!!

nh1956
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nh1956 01/23/07 - 01:14 pm
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To Marisol: Drug and alcohol

To Marisol: Drug and alcohol are not the only addiction this world are addicted to. Many people are addicted to possessions and money. Whatever the choice is we are also given the choice not to remain that way and there are many ways to get help if we would only look for them. The church is a great place to start.

BE REAL
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BE REAL 01/23/07 - 01:15 pm
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people need to stop judging

people need to stop judging the book by its cover and look at reality.Not everyone who is on drugs deserve to go out like this. I tell you what if everyone gets to know JESUS as their LORD and SAVIOR this world would be a better place for everybody. So let's stop downing people who's on drugs and start PRAYING!!!
Because we all never know what's waiting down the road ahead. Just
PRAY for the family of this soul that's gone on. God knows what really happened. And he will deal with this on JUDGEMENT DAY...

Don't Judge The Book By It's Cover

nanny
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nanny 01/23/07 - 01:26 pm
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To missyt66 & marisol, I hope

To missyt66 & marisol, I hope neither of you ever fall from the high horse you ride - for it may be a long way to the ground. It is not for us to judge - For we will all answer to God in the end.

citizen
0
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citizen 01/23/07 - 01:53 pm
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Not all, but most addicts

Not all, but most addicts want help and know where to find it. But their inner astem will not let them. The feeling of self worth is gone, being ashamed, and even being labeled as an addict will keep people away. Alot of times an addict will not seek help with in a church because of what is said about them behind their back. People say," well they can come to my church it's not like that." Only to be the first to say to their pew neighbor that is the person I was telling you about. Gossip, these people feel as if everyone is against them because they know it is wrong. People already talk badly about them. Most of the time it's their own family that they thought could they could trust most. Not to mention going into a church and allowing a whole congregation of people in on his life joke.I do not have the answer but looking to God is the best way, this I agree. Is this the only place where people could get help? Without being prejudged?

islandgirl-shirl
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islandgirl-shirl 01/23/07 - 02:46 pm
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Amen to that! Let's pray for

Amen to that! Let's pray for drug addicts and drug dealers. There isn't an easy fix for any of societies ills. But we can each examine ourselves and see what we can do to help others when we can. The one post that said that we should not be "enablers" was absolutely correct. I get "high" on life and do not need drugs or alcohol to do so. Our country is pretty screwed up because we have turned away from God. I think people use drugs to escape from things they cannot escape from.

i know
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i know 01/23/07 - 04:34 pm
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I was a firefighter while in

I was a firefighter while in college and was called to a scene that was very similar to this one. The guy had wrecked his car and was running around a 4 lane road naked attacking people. He asked me to kill him at one point. It was determined later that it was a drug problem that he had. Only this time, it was that he had not taken a prescription that he was supposed to take daily. He was not a druggie or a dealer, He was an ordinary guy that had a chemical problem that caused him to snap. Maybe there is a reason the bible tells us not to judge others.

mcgill_courtney
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mcgill_courtney 01/23/07 - 09:25 pm
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It's so easy to sit and judge

It's so easy to sit and judge others isn't it? You people that have this apparent disgust for "druggies" have obviously never read up on drug addiction, alcoholism, or have been to any sort of al-anon meetings or anything of that sort. So if you're gonna judge, at least be knowledeable on the subject. Addiction is in fact a disease, and yes, I have been "inconvenienced" by it almost my entire life by people that I loved dearly. I've had many close friends die at the hands of deadly drugs. I have family members that have been commited, hospitalized, and destitute. And you know what? Now, not by choice, but chance, I find myself physically dependent on drugs after a serious car accident that I had two years ago. Without my medication on a daily basis, I cannot function and would get deathly ill. So I guess I would fall into the category of a "druggie" as well. The moral to this short story is, be careful how you judge because you never know what someone has gone through to get into the position this young man was in. No one knows what path Chris Johnson walked to get the point of believing he was a dog. We should pray for people like him and his family. WWJD? Judge not.

WW1949
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WW1949 01/23/07 - 10:59 pm
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mcquill courtney. Your

mcquill courtney. Your problem with legal drugs is not a problem that causes you to steal. I would not put you in the class of a druggie. I would understand that you need the medicine for problems from a car accident. I try not to judge people on drugs or any othe substance but I still believe cocaine or any other form of that type of drug use is a choice that a weak person makes because they think it will help. It only compounds the problem and never never helps. My family spent thousands and thousands of dollars to help but to no avail. All we got was threats from the user and the attitude that we owed it to him to make sure he had money, clothes, food and houseing even though he would not help himself. I guess that is why I am so bitter against drugs. No one can say that they don't know drugs kill. All they have to do is look around in all neighborhoods, rich, middle class and poor. They all have the problem.

missyt66
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missyt66 01/23/07 - 11:19 pm
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TO NANNY: I have fallen off

TO NANNY: I have fallen off of my high horse numerous time, and is just as flawed as the next. Usually, I don't make others a victim because of my problems. Usually there's no program for me when I need a bit of help. When I don't have enough money, I don't break into homes, nor would I knock someone over the head for their money. Furthermore, I wouldn't want to consume any substance that would make me hurt people. I grew up in a home with verbal and emotional abuse, I witnessed domestic violence, and became a victim of domestic violence myself. By most accounts, I should be on drugs. If you're going to do drugs, pay for them with your own money, stay out of my home, don't steal my vehicle, don't rob my daughters, and please don't shoot me at point blank range because you need a quick fix. I would love to see my children enter adulthood, I want to hold my grandchildren, and I want to live so that I can be an asset to society. Pardon me if I'm not a fan of those who can do me harm. I'm sick of the "I have a disease" excuse. I'd say let's reserve a town, name it "Drugsville", seal it off, have daily drug drops, and call it a day. GET CLEAN,STAY CLEAN OR GET OUT!!!!!!

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