Man arrested in connection with hospital robbery

TheftCrime, Law and JusticeJustice SystemFells PointMercy Medical Center (Baltimore, Maryland)

A 51-year-old man with a colorful criminal past has been charged in connection with the robbery of two hospital employees at Mercy Medical Center's McAuley Tower, police said.

Officers arrested William Johnson of the 500 block of Yale Avenue Friday and he has been charged with armed robbery, first degree assault and other offenses, according to online court records. He is being held without bail.

Two employees were robbed of cash from their personal belongings Tuesday, police said earlier in the week. At that time officers were reviewing security camera footage and trying to determine whether the robbery was connected to another that happened in the same part of the city.

Jo Johnson, William Johnson's wife, said he has been "framed" by police and had shown them evidence that he was at a court-ordered drug treatment program at Gaudenzia when the Mercy robberies happened.

"How you going to grab someone who's in a rehab center getting help and put a robbery on them?" she asked. "You just can't go around framing people because of their background."

No one at Gaudenzia could immediately be reached for comment.

Johnson was previously convicted of an armed robbery and a burglary in 2004, in connection with what prosecutors alleged was a three-week-long string of stick ups in Fells Point the previous year, and the theft of 11 cases of cigarettes from a gas station.

A judge called him a public nuisance at his sentencing, The Baltimore Sun reported.

He received a 15-year prison sentence for the burglary, with all but five years suspended, and a received a 20-year suspended sentence for the robbery.

Jo Johnson, 48, said her husband was wrongly convicted on those charges, too. "He was a nice guy," she added. "He had his flaws"

The couple had been separated because Johnson was living at the drug treatment center, she said.

Johnson was also convicted of attempted burglary in 2012 and having burglar's tools in 2010. A judge signed violation of probation warrants in connection with those cases on Jan. 18 this year.

iduncan@baltsun.com

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