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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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News >  Crime/Public Safety

Man allegedly high on meth arrested after standoff at South Hill home

UPDATED: Thu., May 21, 2020

A Spokane Police SWAT team gathers Wednesday evening before confronting man armed with a knife at a residence in the 500 block of West 23rd Avenue. (Colin Mulvany / The Spokesman-Review)
A Spokane Police SWAT team gathers Wednesday evening before confronting man armed with a knife at a residence in the 500 block of West 23rd Avenue. (Colin Mulvany / The Spokesman-Review)

After threatening a family member with a knife, a 34-year-old man naked and allegedly high on methamphetamine kept police in a standoff at a home near Manito Park for several hours Wednesday night.

A man called 911 about 6:15 p.m. saying his son was threatening him with a knife at their home on the 500 block of West 23rd Avenue, according to a Spokane Police Department news release. The father said his son had put the knife to his neck and was high on methamphetamine, naked and out of control.

The father was about to get out of the residence to safety where he spoke with police.

His son, Eric S. Johnson, 34, stayed in the house and ignored officer’s attempts to contact him, according to police.

Police obtained a search warrant for the house and found there was probable cause to charge Johnson with second-degree assault. Police noted Johnson has a violent criminal history. He was found guilty of second-degree assault with a deadly weapon in May 2019.

The SWAT team along with the hostage negotiation and the explosive disposal unit arrived on scene to assist.

Police continued to try and make contact with Johnson. Eventually, cameras were inserted into the residence to locate Johnson, who was still naked, armed with a knife and agitated, according to police.

When Johnson realized police were inside the house, officers said he started throwing things at them. Hostage negotiators continued to attempt to talk Johnson down, but he would not engage, according to police.

Police said Johnson damaged a police robot that officers were using to observe him.

Eventually, the SWAT team put a nonchemical irritant into the house. Less than a minute later, Johnson put the knife down and complied with officers.

Officers were on scene for most of the night serving the search warrant.

Johnson was booked into the Spokane County Jail on charges of second-degree assault and first-degree malicious mischief.

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