False murder, real arrest

Mark Anthony Johnson, is charged with making a false police report.
Mark Anthony Johnson, is charged with making a false police report.

By Morgan Chesky - bio | email
Posted by Ellen Krafve - bio | email

TYLER, TX (KLTV) - An East Texas man cries "murder" and is now paying for it. Mark Anthony Johnson, 38, reported a homicide to Tyler Police last night, saying he was the one responsible. But, when police arrived, they found no murder, only Johnson, who said the only reason for the claim was to shorten police response time.

When you're in trouble, you call the police, right? Though Johnson followed that rule, he broke a few more in the process. Tyler Police say when a call comes in, it is assigned a priority level.

Johnson's homicide was given a code three meaning police flipped on their lights and sirens and sped to the scene.

Police arrived at Rose Valley Apartments in northwest Tyler believing Johnson was armed and dangerous.

When they realized there was no murder, police arrested Johnson who explained the real reason for his call: several people attacked him earlier and he wanted a fast response.

Now, authorities say Johnson did have reason to call, but had he simply told the truth, the difference in arrival time wouldn't have been much different.

"He found out the hard way that he violated the law," said Officer Don Martin," with the Tyler Police Department. "So, don't do it. We're gonna get there as soon as we can...if he said, 'Hey, I've been assaulted [and] the suspects are still here,' we're gonna get there as soon as possible, depending on how many units are available within five minutes."

Right now, Johnson remains in Smith County Jail.

Bond is set at $5,000, but the price of his false report could be much more.

Authorities say depending on what happens in court, Johnson could face up to one year in jail and a fine of up to $4,000.

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