Family Claims Police Dispatch Ignored Calls For Help

Mar 26, 2014

photo courtesy of the Johnson family
photo courtesy of the Johnson family

The parents of a murdered Lexington man say two witnesses saw their son being attacked and called 911 but police failed to respond.

Mark Wohlander, an attorney hired by the family of Alex Johnson has filed an open records request to obtain the emergency calls and transcripts made on December 20th, the night Johnson disappeared.  According to the Lexington Herald Leader, two people say they called police that night because they heard screaming coming from a car near Johnson’s home and saw someone being beaten as the car drove away.  One witness said Johnson was screaming so loudly, it could probably be heard by the 911 operator.  Johnson’s body was found weeks later inside a barrel submersed in the Kentucky River.

Wohlander’s records request was denied and he has filed an appeal with the Attorney General’s office.  The appeal states that the 911 call center either failed to dispatch officers or failed to take “desperate calls” seriously enough to send police.  Wohlander claims officers did not interview either witness until two weeks after Johnson went missing and that one witness claims their call was treated like a prank.  The Lexington Police Department does not comment on on-going cases.