Police: James City landscaper arrested on strangulation charges after 18 months on the run

Staff writer

A James City County man accused of strangling and wounding a co-worker in 2017 was arrested Wednesday, police said.

Rodney Nathaniel Johnson, 50, was charged with strangulation and malicious wounding, according to filings in the Williamsburg-James City County General District Court.

On Sept. 6, 2017, Johnson attacked a coworker after the man told Johnson “Shaq … you are back at it like a crack addict,” the filings said. Johnson hadn’t shown up for work in a week.

Johnson began to choke the coworker until the coworker became disoriented, according to the court documents. Other employees of the landscaping company where the pair were employed began to pull Johnson off the victim.

It’s unclear what happened after Johnson left the victim. The filings and police narrative indicate the victim drove a company dump truck back to the company’s location on Mooretown Road. Later, the victim went to the Sentara Williamsburg hospital as he couldn’t stop bleeding from a wound on his neck.

The wound required stitches, according to James City County Police Department spokeswoman Stephanie Williams.

On Sept. 28, 2017, the victim identified Johnson as his assailant, according to the court records. On Oct. 6, 2017, James City County Police Department obtained arrest warrants for Johnson.

A year and a half later, Johnson was arrested at the Virginia Peninsula Regional Jail on the charges. He was booked on April 10 just after 5 p.m., according to jail and court records.

If convicted, Johnson faces as much as 21 years in jail and $102,500 in fines, according to Virginia Code.

Roberts can be reached at 757-604-1329, by email at srobertsjr@vagazette.com and on Twitter @SPRobertsJr.

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