Olympian Johnson Charged with Assault


February 13, 2005

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP)--Olympic ski champion Bill Johnson was charged with assaulting an officer and resisting arrest after punching a sheriff's deputy in the face during a traffic stop, police said.

Johnson was stopped in his pickup truck Friday by a Multnomah County sheriff's deputy and a suburban Troutdale police officer. When the officers approached, Johnson pulled out his 1984 gold medal and taunted them by saying, ``You don't have one of these,'' police said.

Authorities said Johnson threw his keys at Deputy Jeff Cordes, reached out his window, grabbed the deputy's shirt and punched him in the face. Johnson then refused to obey orders to exit the vehicle and lie on the ground.

Johnson was charged with assaulting an officer, resisting arrest and driving while intoxicated. He remained jailed Saturday night, and was being held until arraignment Monday. Bail was set at $17,500.

When an officer tried to interview the 44-year-old Johnson in jail Friday, he lunged at the officer, grabbed him by the vest and tried to hit him, said Lt. Bruce McCain of the sheriff's office.

McCain said he did not know whether Johnson would be charged for that altercation.

The 1984 Olympic downhill champion, Johnson attempted a comeback to compete in the Salt Lake City Games. But he suffered a traumatic brain injury during a training run in March 2001 and was in a coma for three weeks.

Copyright © 2005 The Associated Press