SANTA ROSA – Paul S. Johnson, a 36-year-old man from Santa Rosa, has had a considerable history of violent crimes, according to the Santa Rosa police. He was also wanted on an outstanding warrant and was on parole, when he drew considerable attention on Sunday afternoon by shouting from a rooftop to anyone who would listen.
He began the episode himself, when he called 911 at 3:39 in the afternoon to report that some people were after him, and trying to kill him. The operator reported that he had been rambling on the phone, sounding confused and upset. His location was the 200 block of Broadmoor Street, a residential neighborhood in west central Santa Rosa. As police were on their way, within minutes another person called in to report that Johnson was on the roof of his garage, shouting that someone was trying to kill him, and that he was being framed for something. As it turned out, Johnson was living at that home with the caller, having moved from his previous residence on Morgan Street after a recent New Year’s Day arrest for being under the influence of a controlled substance, and violating parole. (He did report the Morgan street address as his home when arrested, however.)
Officers arrived and tried to engage in a dialog with Johnson as he stood on the roof. However, they reported that he continued to ramble nonsensically about the people who were after him. He accused the officers of being impostors, and part of an elaborate scheme to kill him for something he was not guilty of. He also told the officers, and anyone who would listen, that he was going to harm himself, or even commit suicide, and produced a “makeshift weapon” that he used to cut himself.
Joining the officers were members of the department’s Hostage Negotiation Team, who tried to convince Johnson to give himself up peacefully, but he refused. As the evening began to grow dark, the officers tried to come up with a solution to the standoff that would not put themselves or Johnson at unnecessary risk. Neighbors, meanwhile, voluntarily stayed away from the scene, and no evacuation was needed. By 10 pm, the team had formulated a plan, and a group of them, including a police dog team, managed to sneak up and take him by surprise, taking him into custody at 10:23 pm, nearly seven hours after the ordeal began.
Johnson had several minor wounds from his activities with his weapon, but suffered no serious damage. He was nonetheless treated at a local hospital before being booked at the Sonoma County jail, initially on charges of the outstanding warrant for parole violations. Additional charges may later be filed, including resisting or obstructing officers, and a likely mental health evaluation given.
In addition to this incident, specialists may be looking at his Facebook postings, in which he, in the past, has expressed his anger at one particular person for several personal conflicts, along with posts about other violent conflicts and encounters. He has also reached out to his friends for support during previous jail and prison sentences.