The Baltimore City State’s Attorney’s Office announced the conviction of a suspect who held four people hostages at gunpoint for several hours inside a fast food restaurant in July 2016.
An officer patrolling in the 3400 block of Calloway Avenue observed a GMC Yukon that fit the description of a vehicle wanted in reference to a rape. The officer identified the driver as 26-year-old George Johnson, who was wanted for the alleged rape, during an attempted traffic stop.
Johnson accelerated and a pursuit ensued for about 25 minutes, ending when the GMC struck a Honda Accord at the intersection of North Monroe and Washington Boulevard. The operator of the Honda was transported to St. Agnes Hospital for treatment.
Johnson fled the accident scene on foot with a handgun. He entered a fast food restaurant, brandishing the handgun and forcing a 7-year-old girl and three employees into the manager’s office. The other employees and patrons were escorted from the store by law enforcement.
After five hours of hostage negotiations, one of the hostages tossed the handgun out the drive-through window under Johnson’s direction.
Johnson was convicted on four counts of reckless endangerment, four counts of false imprisonment and fleeing and eluding an accident. Each false imprisonment charge carries a life sentence and each reckless endangerment charge carries a 24-year prison sentence. His will be sentenced on December 14.
“Acts of violence such as this are completely incomprehensible and those that commit them must be held accountable,” State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby said in a statement. “I applaud the bravery of the hostages from this incident and the good work of the Baltimore Police Department for negotiating their safe release.”