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Pit bull complaint amended to reflect serious injuries

Jesse James Johnson

An amended complaint in the case of a Laporte man who had his pit bulls attack a Hubbard County deputy sheds light on the reason why the suspect fled - and how he may be funding his defense costs.

Jesse James Johnson, 30, was arrested Feb. 8 following a high-speed pursuit that went down county roads and the Paul Bunyan Hiking Trail at speeds over 80 mph.

Johnson's charges were upgraded last week to include a charge of 3rd Degree Assault, for allegedly inflicting "substantial bodily harm" to Dep. Dan May. May suffered a hand injury when Johnson allegedly threw his two pit bulls at the officer to avoid arrest and the dogs bit the deputy.

The amended complaint states officers searched Johnson's vehicle when the pursuit ended in a crash on County Road 37, locating "25.4 grams of methamphetamine... and five thousand dollars."

Johnson, who remains incarcerated in the Hubbard County jail, said he was unemployed, yet turned down a public defender and retained his own counsel.

A woman at the scene remarked, "I guess we know why Jesse ran now," according to the complaint.

Officers had gone to Johnson's residence that day to execute a felony arrest warrant. His next appearance is March 12.

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