Skip to main content

Charges: St. Paul man told woman to speak his language, struck her with van

The man's preliminary breath test was more than double the legal limit.
Gregory Allen Johnson

Gregory A. Johnson

Racial bias and alcohol are believed to have fueled a hit-and-run incident at a Twin Cities park in which a man allegedly used his van to strike a woman. 

The attack happened around 7 p.m. on July 15 at Lake Gervais County Park in Little Canada, according to a criminal complaint that charges 63-year-old Gregory A. Johnson, of St. Paul, with one count of second-degree assault with a dangerous weapon and one count of DWI. 

Per the complaint, Johnson was allegedly sitting alone at a picnic table and drinking from a tall blue cup. He was seen pouring liquor into the cup, with witnesses saying he was "very intoxicated" with slurred speech and he was struggling to walk. 

The victim said Johnson cursed at her and her Asian family and told them to "speak the language I speak" before saying, "you shouldn't be here," according to the complaint. The family offered Johnson food but he refused, with witnesses telling police that Johnson was hateful toward the family because of their race and skin color. 

Johnson left only to return a short time later driving a Toyota Sienna aggressively onto the grass and towards the trash cans nearest the victim's family. Johnson then put the van in reverse, squealing the tires and leaving skid marks on the grass and sidewalk. 

The victim was afraid Johnson would hit her vehicle that was parked just yards away, and when she yelled at Johnson to stop he allegedly drove directly at her, made eye contact and hit her. The force of the collision sent the woman flying backwards before landing on her back. 

She lost consciousness and by the time medics arrived she crying, shaking, having difficulty breathing and seeing and struggling to talk. She was taken to Regions Hospital where she was referred to a brain trauma unit for care. 

Sign up for our BREAKING NEWS newsletters

The complaint says Johnson's attempt to flee the scene ended when he crashed into a tree, at which point the victim's family stopping him from running from the scene. 

Johnson told police that he had "two" drinks, though officers documented him smelling of a "strong odor of alcohol." A preliminary breath test registered at 0.20, which is more than twice the legal limit in Minnesota. 

The charging document notes that Johnson has three felony convictions on his record, including drunken terrorist threats toward his mother; fourth-degree assault after hitting parked vehicles while driving drunk; and one for throwing a urine sample at officers. 

He also had a DWI in Ramsey County in 2011, in addition to currently waiting on results from a competency examination after he was charged with two counts of threats of violence connected to a June 22 incident. 

Next Up


Charges: Driver had been drinking at party before striking teens, killing one

The victims were walking home from Walmart at the time of the crash, according to court documents.

Screen Shot 2023-01-30 at 4.32.08 PM

State: Beltrami County Jail conditions present imminent risk of 'life-threatening harm'

The state is taking action to force changes at the Beltrami County Jail.


Tributes to 15-year-old girl killed in Burnsville crash

The teenager was a student at Burnsville High School.

police lights

Charges: New Ulm couple abused young children with cruel punishments

Warning: The following contains upsetting details about child abuse.

Screen Shot 2023-01-30 at 1.18.29 PM

Boy reels in 9.5lb walleye, wins pickup truck at Brainerd ice fishing tourney

Contestants come from all over the country compete in the annual event held in Brainerd.


Arrowhead 135 ultramarathon in northern MN kicks off in -25F temperatures

The race is considered one of the 50 most challenging races in the world.


Terrion Sherman

Man, 23, charged in brutal murder of young St. Paul woman

A 23-year-old St. Paul man is facing a second-degree murder charge.

Eric Andrew Nelson

Racist charged with threatening Black people with knife in St. Paul

The 36-year-old white man was arrested on June 19.

Evonne Sharkey

Woman charged in strangulation murder of St. Paul man

The woman told investigators that she was fighting off the man.

Screen Shot 2019-10-01 at 7.29.51 AM

Charges: St. Paul man stole SUV, violently struck teens in crosswalk

The man is suspected of being high on drugs when he carjacked an SUV.

Screen Shot 2020-05-12 at 1.27.33 PM

Charges: Man held knife to Lyft driver's throat, stole and crashed his vehicle

The suspect was charged this week, about a month-and-a-half after the incident.

Efrain Guerrero Jr.

Charges: Willmar man brutally beat woman with knife handle

The Day One Crisis Hotline for domestic violence victims is always available at 1-866-223-1111.

Michael Walton Hinton

Charges: Man held woman captive, raped, stabbed, and beat her

The man suspected of the crimes has been charged with seven felonies.

Screen Shot 2019-07-10 at 8.11.18 AM

Woman pepper sprayed by man in possibly racist attack

Police are investigating another incident in which a Hispanic man was targeted.