Court: Man threatens woman with gun after receiving stolen rental car

tstevens@ledger-enquirer.comFebruary 25, 2014 

Herman Johnson

A Columbus woman's long search for her traded-off Enterprise rental car skidded to a halt after the recipient pointed a gun in the victim's face, according to court testimony.

Herman Johnson, 22, faced theft by conversion charges during a Tuesday morning Recorder's Court hearing. The charges are in addition to several already filed against Johnson, who was booked into Muscogee County Jail on Feb. 8 on possession of cocaine and possession of a stolen gun charges.

Enterprise Rent-A-Car contacted police on Feb. 7 to report that a 2014 Chevrolet vehicle had been taking from the woman renting it, an officer told the court. After police contacted the woman, they learned the victim had engaged in a lengthy hunt for the vehicle, only to be threatened at gunpoint.

The Chevrolet first went missing after the woman allowed her boyfriend to borrow it to see a friend, the officer told the court. The boyfriend then let his friend borrow the car, who passed the car along to another, unspecified person. At one point, the officer said, the Chevrolet was traded for drugs.

Livid, the woman dragged her boyfriend house to house, recipient to recipient, until finally they found two men sitting in the Chevrolet in an undisclosed apartment complex's parking lot.

The woman tried explaining to the men that the car was a rental and that she needed it back. Instead of returning the vehicle, one of the suspects told the other to "shoot this b----." She backed away from the vehicle after one of the men pointed a gun at her.

Luckily, the woman recognized her attacker in The Joint, a publication that prints the mugshots of those arrested.

The woman contacted police after she recognized Johnson in the publication, allowing them to link the suspect with the recently arrested Herman Johnson. He was charged with theft by conversion shortly after.

The Chevrolet was later found on Victory Drive. The GPS unit had been disabled, preventing Enterprise from tracking the vehicle.

Judge Michael Cielinski set Johnson's bond at $25,000.

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