Naked man arrested on Johnson Fork, claimed he 'may be Jesus'

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JOHNSON FORK – An Indiana man was arrested, naked and claiming to possibly be Jesus, near a home on Johnson Fork on Monday.

On June 18, Magoffin County Sheriff Department Deputies Jonathan Holbrook and Cory Cook responded to the Johnson Fork area after receiving several complaints of a naked male behind a residence.

After arriving on the scene, the officers found the naked male lying in the grass near the home. The man would not tell law enforcement his name but said he “may be Jesus.”

He was taken into custody, with law enforcement noting in the police report he appeared to be under the influence of drugs.

The homeowner advised police that the man was behind his house and allegedly took a gas jug and poured it everywhere around the residence. He reportedly told the man to leave but he wouldn’t. The homeowner said the male went through his car and took several items and then went walking up the road with his front sun shield. 

The homeowner told Mortimer Media Group he looked out his back door and the man was lying down in his yard, then he jumped up and ran a little, moving erratically. The homeowner reportedly fired a warning shot in the air, which the man responded to by grabbing an oil can and throwing it against the house. He then grabbed a gas can and started dousing the house in gasoline. He allegedly grabbed a service wire that provided electricity to an outbuilding on the property and proceeded to attempt to start a fire, while at the same time screaming that he was going to burn down the house.

At this point, the homeowner reportedly shot a few more times over his head, and the man got in a car in front of the house, then walked on down the road. There is a gate on the property and he was found by law enforcement approximately 75 feet from the gate, laying in the grass.  

While Deputy Holbrook transported the male to the sheriff office, he reportedly tore out a cord in the rear radar of the cruiser.

He was later identified as Austin Michael Johnson, 31 from Indiana. 

According to law enforcement, his family woke up on Saturday morning and he was gone. They were looking for him in Ohio when they received a tip that he was in Salyersville, and they picked him up at a local gas station early Sunday morning. Once back on the road, their car made a strange noise, so they stopped to check it out, when Johnson took off running, again, and they couldn’t find him.

Johnson has no known criminal history or affiliation with Magoffin County. 

Law enforcement did not request toxicology at the time of the arrest. 

Johnson is currently being held at the Big Sandy Regional Detention Center, facing the following charges: third-degree burglary; first-degree indecent exposure, first offense; third-degree criminal trespassing; second-degree criminal mischief; giving officer false identifying information; and public intoxication – controlled substance (excludes alcohol). 

At press time no court date has been scheduled in the case.

Editor's Note: The indictment or charge of a person by a grand jury or otherwise is an accusation only and that person is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.