The Jacksonville Sheriff's office is searching for a man they say put a 4-year-old child in danger.
Melissa Bujeda with JSO says they were first alerted when a daycare worker dropped the child off at its home off Payne Avenue and Grothe Street in Northwest Jacksonville just after 3:30PM.
“When she went to drop the child off, the door opened and someone pulled that child in the residence,” Bujeda says.
The daycare worker was suspicious, so she called police. They arrived at the home and determined the child, its mother and the suspect were inside.
“Police also saw the suspect covering the mouth of the 4-year-old child,” Bujeda says.
When police began setting up around the home, the suspect, 29-year-old Richard Lee Johnson, fled out of the front door.
“Definitely something we’re concerned about, we don’t know what he’s going to do,” Bujeda says.
Police determined Johnson forced his way in to the home with a gun, although his motive is still not clear. He has a past relationship with the woman he held, and she has a protective order against him. He has a criminal history and is considered by police to be armed and dangerous.
JSO is using air, K9 and patrol unites in their search of the neighborhood. The home is right next to a children’s center and down the street from a community center and park. People who live in the area tell WOKV both sides of the story in terms of safety, with some not surprised to see heavy police activity and others in disbelief that it’s happening in the area.
Johnson is facing charges of armed burglary and false imprisonment. The child is in good condition.
JSO is asking for anyone who has seen him to contact them at (904) 630-0500 or JSOCrimeTips@jaxsheriff.org. You can also submit an anonymous tip through Crime Stoppers and be eligible for a possible reward by calling 1-866-845-TIPS.