Man who drove into City Hall gets 10-year sentence


This video of a man driving a car through Wichita's City Hall would be funny if not for the fact that he may have hurt someone.

Authorities said Johnson became angered when a police officer told him to turn down the music in his car while he was parked at a south Wichita convenience store early on the morning of Jan. 7, 2008.

Johnson drove downtown, turned onto Main and then drove up a ramp into City Hall at an estimated 45 miles an hour.

OK, it is funny.

Man who drove into City Hall gets 10-year sentence


  1. I love how the video shows people walking around, and then once they’re off-camera, they cut a few seconds to the clip where the car is zooming by. Gotta make it look like more of a near-miss than it was.

  2. At first viewing it appears as though this car is narrowly missing hitting several people. Upon closer inspection it appears that the security system only records when it detects movement. So the time between someone walking past the hallway and the car driving through it is about 15 minutes apart. Thank God — at 45mph I can easily see someone getting killed.

  3. Where’s the Yakety Sax version?

    Also, their security cameras really provide high quality images. I was expecting Vin Diesel.

  4. Wow, I’m not sure what’s crazier… The fact the man did what he did… Or the fact that the video is so OBVIOUSLY edited to make it seem more “harrowing” for the people he “nearly hit”. The first time we see him “nearly hit” someone, look at the time… They walked by the door at 12:18 and then it instantly jumps to 12:36, EIGHTEEN MINUTES LATER, they were long gone by 12:36. The next time he “nearly hit” someone was the group getting on the elevator, which if you look at the time, they got on at 12:20…he came through at 12:36…SIXTEEN MINUTES later. The cop making his rounds near what appears to be a copier? 12:32…a closer call than the rest, sure, but still four whole minutes before he came through. Sure the guy is a total wack-a-doo, and deserves a hefty sentence for such a wreckless crime, but the sensationalism of all his “near hits” in this video is effin ridiculous…

  5. Fighting City Hall seems to have a whole new meaning. It would have been perfect if he had been there to complain about a traffic ticket.

  6. This video is a lot better if you listen to the instrumental version of “Can’t Turn You Loose” from The Blues Brothers movie as a soundtrack.

    Dude totally deserves the jail time, though.

  7. To everyone who is reading some sort of dire conspiracy into the time jump between the people walking by and the car: take a deep breath and calm down. Most good security systems don;t record if there is no movement. They did not edit the video, there was no video recorded between the end of the last movement and the car. All the video is being continuously sent to a buffer. If nothing is happening, that buffer doesn’t get saved.

  8. Yep – show that to a low average IQ jury – and now I’m not shocked at the ten year penalty. “Holy crap! He just missed them!!!” Best video evidence ev4r.

    Had I been the lawyer I would have shown the jury all 6+/- minutes of dead air between each of the ‘near misses’.

  9. @7

    Then why even upload the parts with the people walking then? They have obviously selected certain parts of their feeds to show so why those parts as well? What relevance do they serve other than to heighten the idea of potential damage that could have happened?

    I’m not denying the fact the their video system most likely only records during movement but that doesn’t relate to what video they decided to upload for us to see.

  10. This is one of those quirks of human behaviour that constantly puzzles me: Sweet natured, normal people turn into absolute bullies when they are behind the wheel. The slightest disrespect of their new-found potence is treated with extreme harshness: Death threats, shooting or, as in this example, ramming.

    Remember the old geezer a few days ago, that followed someone across town, threatened to kill them and eventually got shot for his troubles because someone cut him off in traffic?
    Same thing.

    Some people should not be allowed to be in charge of anything more dangerous than a kazoo, let alone a car.

    Power corrupts, and absolute power corrupt absolutely, but some tiny minds can’t even handle a few horsepower without being corrupted.

  11. @#9 Fr each of the clips they show a second or two of the previous video because it is easier to watch and make sense of than if the clips started at the exact frame the car shows up. If you are going to show video of something happening it’s pretty standard to give a little lead-in. In this case, the only lead-in available was a few seconds of people.

    I doubt whoever released this even thought about it. Just isolated the time cuts that had the car and prerolled the video by a couple seconds.

  12. I had that music from The Blues Brothers running through my head while watching this.

  13. The whole thing is a near miss. What difference does it make which side of the sheetrock you’re on, when it’s a 45mph Lincoln? Also, since it’s a government building, and government employees, why isn’t it terrorism? Why should someone get off easy just because their cause is homicidal stupidity?

  14. @11

    from the 29 second mark to the 37 second mark they roll the feed forward before jumping to another scene. It would make perfect sense to me if all they were doing was rolling back the clock for a lead in. The few minute jump forward before going into another scene (that has been rolled back for lead in) makes me think the video has been edited to heighten the potential damage that could have happened.

  15. It says he was mad because the police asked him to turn the volume down on his car that was parked out front of a convenience store. We all meet these kind of people some time. They have a shitty car, huge sound system, and love to make you aware of their new Solja Boi song. I have them in my neighborhood at 3am every night. As far as I’m concerned, 10 years is for the first offense, let alone driving through city hall :P

  16. This, BTW, is the reason some corporations have those cast-concrete planters and benches and so on in front of their buildings — they’re camoflaged “tank traps”, anchored down and heavily reinforced so they’ll stop anyone who tries this stunt.

  17. 10 years is a long time. People guilty of manslaughter and rape here in NZ generally get less than that.

  18. Definitely making an example of him with the 10 year sentence, and he most likely has a severe mental condition if he’s driving a car into a building at 45 mph. I don’t excuse the action, but maybe he needs a different type of institutionalization than ten years in a penitentiary?

  19. Unless this guy can prove he’s psychic, it’s still a bitch move to run his car through the damn place with such heavy disregard.

  20. Too bad there’s no video clip of him him hearing the sentence read out in court… keyboard cat could play him off!

  21. Ten years is a ridiculously long time, considering he drove into the building around 12:30 am. The driver did have reason to believe that it was very unlikely that anyone would happen to be there in city hall at that time of night.

  22. Yeesh, at least he didn’t drive into the front doors of a police station. There is almost always someone in the entryway to those, even the very smallest precincts.

  23. 10 years for this is bullshit. Killing someone doesn’t get you 10 years. If he has any balls he’ll be serving us some payback when he gets out.

  24. Take a breather. The article doesn’t specify, but I would guess that 10 years is the sentence with the possibility of parole much sooner. He also got pinged for battery of a law enforcement officer. I wouldn’t shocked if he is up for parole in under 5. Yes, driving through a car at 45mph is going to result in some jail time. Go to prison, be a good boy, deal with it, and get out early. In the future, just be less of a psychopath.

  25. #14 – “why isn’t this terrorism”? Oh dear god please, do us all a favour, go and read something, anything at all, about terrorism and answer your own question. You are the sort of person who makes air travel such a dreadful nightmare.

    1. “why isn’t this terrorism”?

      I thought that it was an interesting commentary on how terrorism no longer has a fixed definition. It’s like “New & Improved!” or “King Sized!” on product packaging.

  26. That’s a pretty hefty sentence considering nobody was hurt. Rape and most other forms of physical assualt short of outright murder will get you less than that.

    That asside, I can’t believe they built the place with dimensions suitable for a car to drive in, around various hallways, and out again.

  27. #4 – “Wow, I’m not sure what’s crazier… The fact the man did what he did… Or the fact that the video is so OBVIOUSLY edited to make it seem more “harrowing” for the people he “nearly hit”. The first time we see him “nearly hit” someone, look at the time… They walked by”

    You don’t know which is crazier? To most sane people the answer is OBVIOUS.

  28. #36 – Read the earlier comments before you post. Modern security camera systems only record when there is movement. So the several minutes between the people & the car were not recorded because it was an empty hallway.
    No editing to make it more “harrowing”

    So the correct answer is no editing tricks going on. I’m not sure what that says about your “sane” answer.

  29. ryanh at #4 – good effort, 100% correct, but the mob is going to ignore your sensible explanations.

  30. @39 Of couse there was editing. Someone took the footage and assembled it – and left the parts with the people in even though they are not at all related to the later scene.

    Claiming that the jury can look at the clock to determine that the places he drove thourgh were empty is pointless – at that time they saw that the act of driving occured spit-seconds after people walked they.

    The speed alone speaks for itself, though – there’s no way that he could have avoided a bystander and it would have been totally sufficient to declare that so-and-so many people where in that building.

  31. “I’ll be taking these Huggies and whatever cash you got there in the register.”

  32. Frankly, they should have edited the footage, to remove any ambiguity of the bystanders’ time/location.

    It would have been the work of a few moments to split the clips and attach a 5 second still-frame lead-in of the scene (remember, nothing was happening in the shot, because the camera didn’t record anything).

    It is obviously going to influence the emotional impact on the jury to see what might have occured, instead of only seeing what actually did.

  33. #6 & #12 Here it is with “Can’t Turn You Loose” from the Blues Brothers soundtrack

  34. This video (edited or not) would have been played frame for frame for the jury with detailed explaination of the time stamps which show that there were definitly people in the building at that time of day. The defense would also point out the off hour time and the fact that no one was injured in order to try and lessen the sentence. Either way, callous disregard for life.

    Thanks for the Benny Hillifier!

    1. For trial purposes, it would have been appropriate to freeze frame it into real time. For entertainment purposes, Yakety Sax remains the best option.

  35. @YOUDIEJOE #47: “Lots of SPACE in this City hall!”
    That made my day, Thanks for posting it!

  36. Ten years is outrageous. The US has more people in prison than any other country. We have got to return reason and justice to sentencing.

  37. I thought that it was an interesting commentary on how terrorism no longer has a fixed definition. It’s like “New & Improved!” or “King Sized!” on product packaging.

    I’m in pretty late to comment, but:

    To be fair, the word had a considerably ambiguous definition to begin with. Yes it was specific, in a way, but it is defined in terms which are ripe for opportunistic interpretation.

    In high school as a senior I once made my (British) english teacher uncomfortably change the subject when I noted that, according to the English, the American revolutionaries could probably have been accurately defined as being terrorists, had the word existed.

    Combine this ambiguous definition with the fact that most of us now think of religious radicals blowing up airplanes full of innocent people when we hear the word “terrorist” and really, you have one of the more perfect buzzwords to get people riled up.

    If it was easy to get a rise out of a crowd talking about blacks (but using a slur, of course), or Irish, or gays, or children, or convicts… it’s oh so much easier to do it with “terrorists”. It’s a great word to abuse, because you can say it in a way that is totally dishonest to its connotation, yet perfectly true to the denotation. Lying without “lying” at all.

    1. You could terrorize your little brother, but it wouldn’t make you a terrorist. I think that ‘widespread’ and ‘deliberate’ have to be factors. That guy who went to jail as a terrorist for torching some Hummers is a great example of misapplication of the word. What widespread group was he deliberately trying to terrorize? Hummer dealers? It doesn’t parse.

  38. #54 Antinous

    I like this idea. If I’m Dick Cheney or Tony Blair’s elder brother and I have a liberal supply of sarin gas, and provided no innocent bystanders are harmed …

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