Olympian Johnson Released From Jail


February 15, 2005

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP by William McCall)--Olympic gold medal skier Bill Johnson was released from jail late Monday after being held over the weekend following a traffic stop that resulted in charges of assaulting police officers and driving under the influence of intoxicants.

Johnson walked out the Multnomah County jail a short time after his family posted bail.

``Happy Valentine's Day; have a good one everybody,'' he told reporters.

Earlier Monday, Multnomah County Circuit Judge Steven Todd ordered Johnson to remain in jail pending an evaluation for supervised release.

``I'm not worried about him fleeing. I'm worried about him following instructions,'' Todd said.

A Multnomah County sheriff's deputy and a suburban Troutdale police officer stopped Johnson in his pickup truck Friday near his mother's house in Gresham.

Johnson allegedly punched the deputy repeatedly and kicked the Troutdale officer in the groin after taunting them with his gold medal from the 1984 Winter Olympics in Sarajevo, where Johnson became the first U.S. skier to win the downhill.

But Johnson did submit to breath tests for alcohol and underwent a field sobriety test in addition to providing a urine sample, according to Traci Anderson, the prosecutor who is handling the case for the Multnomah County district attorney's office.

The results have not been released.

Johnson appeared briefly for his arraignment Monday. He smiled at his mother, DB Johnson, and at the judge while listening carefully to the proceedings.

Defense lawyer Gerald Doblie said Johnson has no trouble handling his daily routine but suffers from poor judgment and lack of impulse control as a result of the March 2001 head injury suffered during a comeback attempt.

Johnson was in a coma for weeks after he crashed during a downhill training run for the U.S. Alpine Championships in Whitefish, Mont.

``I worry about him all the time because he can't explain or express himself,'' his mother said Monday outside the courtroom.

Copyright © 2005 The Associated Press