Sheriff: ‘Armed and dangerous’ suspect should not have been released

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

Willie James Johnson Jr. (Rowan County Sheriff's Office)

ROWAN COUNTY, N.C. — Authorities in Rowan County are searching for a suspect who is considered “armed and dangerous” after deputies said he was released from jail when he shouldn’t have been. 

Willie James Johnson Jr., 19, of Salisbury, is described in a news release from the Rowan County Sheriff’s Office as being “armed and dangerous.” He was originally arrested Tuesday on charges that included robbery with a dangerous weapon, assault by pointing a gun, and resisting an officer. 

After his arrest, deputies said Johnson was taken to court for his first appearance on Wednesday morning.  Afterward, he was taken back to the Rowan County Detention Center, where deputies said he was released after posting a $500 bond with the help of a bail bondsman.

The $500 bond was issued in connection with a misdemeanor charge, however deputies said Johnson was also being held under a $25,000 secured bond for the felony charges. 

In the release, deputies said Johnson “should not have been released.”

Johnson’s last known address was 224 S. Merritt Ave., deputies said.

The suspect is described as standing 5’5″ tall and weighing 145 lbs.  He has a tattoo on the left side of his neck that depicts the number ’83’ with a crown above it. 

Deputies said the Sheriff’s Office is offering a cash reward of up to $1,000 for information leading to Johnson’s arrest. 

Anyone with information about Johnson’s whereabouts is asked to call the Sheriff’s Office at 704-216-8700, Crimestoppers at 1-866-639-5245, or Salisbury Police at 704-638-5333.