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Assault charges follow after barefoot victim found walking along highway

Johnson reportedly fired a gun into the air to get the victim's attention as she attempted to leave.

(Johnson, Eric Shaun - #202200409).jpg
Johnson
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NOBLES COUNTY— A Canby resident has been charged with second-degree assault with a dangerous weapon, two misdemeanor counts of domestic assault, and a misdemeanor count of recklessly handling a dangerous weapon.

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Law enforcement was dispatched to Minnesota State Highway 59 near 180th Street in Nobles County, on a report of a woman walking barefoot alongside the roadside. Dispatch had been informed that the victim was involved in a domestic situation, according to the criminal complaint.

The victim was located and brought to the law enforcement center. She was visibly upset and told officers that her boyfriend, Eric Johnson, 39, acts aggressive and controlling when he drinks. The victim stated they were out at Johnson’s relative’s house and she wanted to leave. Johnson reportedly took the victim’s phone and told her she couldn’t go.

At one point, the victim stated Johnson picked her up and that he had taken a gun out earlier in the day. The victim left the house and was walking down the driveway when she heard a gunshot and turned and saw Johnson holding a gun, according to the criminal complaint. The victim told officers Johnson wasn’t pointing the gun at her but was looking at her. She stated this sort of thing had happened before when Johnson drank.

The victim left the acreage and walked about three miles before coming into contact with someone.

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After speaking with the victim and determining the address where the incident occurred, law enforcement detained Johnson. After being shown where the guns were, officers seized the gun Johnson had reportedly fired. An expended shell casing was found in the trash, and Johnson told officers he had fired the gun to get the victim’s attention.

The victim also told officers that during the incident, Johnson threw her around while they argued. Injuries sustained by the victim were photographed, including a purple bump on her head.

She described previous incidents where Johnson has acted in a similar manner. He was booked into jail. His initial court appearance has been scheduled for July 11.

If convicted, Johnson faces a maximum sentence of seven years in prison, a $14,000 fine, or both, with a minimum of three years imprisonment for the charge of assault with a dangerous weapon. All three misdemeanors carry a maximum sentence of 90 days in jail and/or a $1,000 fine.

The Southwest Crisis Center is available in our community to support and empower survivors of sexual and domestic violence. For questions about services or how you can help, contact the Southwest Crisis Center at 1-800-376-4311 or mnswcc.org .

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Emma McNamee joined The Globe team in October 2021 as a reporter covering Crime & Courts, Politics, and the City beats. Born and raised in Duluth, Minn., McNamee left her hometown to attend school in Chicago at Columbia College. She graduated in 2021 with a degree in Multimedia Journalism, with a concentration in News & Feature Writing and a minor in Creative Writing.
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