Local News in Brief : Escape Attempt Fails

Moments after he was sentenced to three years in prison, Glendale lawyer J. Bruce Johnson made a dramatic dash for freedom Wednesday, but he was wrestled to the floor halfway out the courtroom by a bailiff, a police officer and two district attorney's investigators.

The escape attempt occurred in the courtroom of Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Paul Boland, who had just sentenced the 41-year-old Johnson to prison for defrauding the Southern California Rapid Transit District of $62,000 in bogus insurance claims.

A table was knocked over during the struggle, but no one was hurt.

Paul Fitzgerald, Johnson's attorney, said his client had received death threats when he was in County Jail last summer and did not want to go back. The judge earlier denied a request that Johnson be allowed to report directly to the state prison at Chino.

Johnson is one of five people charged in an ongoing insurance fraud investigation.

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