More than two weeks after 15-year-old Justin Patrick Johanson was fatally struck by a car on River Road near Bradley Park Drive, an expanded police investigation into the Sept. 4 death of the Northside High student has led to charges against four juveniles.
The juveniles, whose ages range from 15 to 16, face various charges, including curfew violation, minor in possession of alcohol and obstruction by lying to police. They were apprehended between Friday and Monday and then released back into their parents’ custody, confirmed Sgt. Fred Carnes with the Columbus Police Department.
The arrests were made days after 17-year-old Giovanni Montesclaros was apprehended in connection with the investigation on Sept. 14. He was charged with purchasing alcoholic beverages for minors, making false statement and writings, contributing to the delinquency of a minor, furnishing alcoholic beverages to persons under 21, possession of a false identification document and attempting to purchase alcohol by misrepresenting his identity.
Montesclaros was transported to the Muscogee County Jail but has since been released on bond.
Carnes declined to release further details about how they have connected the five suspects to the case involving Johanson, but a police report indicates that the Northside student was lying in the road when a vehicle fatally struck him in the area of Bradley Park Drive and River Road.
He was pronounced dead at the scene at 4 a.m. officials said.
Two days after the incident at the Northside High School, a makeshift memorial and ceremony were held at the flagpole. There were candles and flowers and many students signed a huge card with their thoughts of Justin. Counselors were available to help students through a difficult time. The student’s death was also tough on teachers.
A service for Justin was held Sept. 10 at St. Luke United Methodist Church in Columbus, where members of the baseball team served as pallbearers. Justin was a catcher on the ninth-grade team and probably would have played other positions on the junior varsity team in the spring. He was buried in Ponemah Cemetery in Bogalusa, La.