On March 3, 2014 at 6:04 p.m. Officer Benjamin Johnson had just left briefing and was en route to his patrol zone when a vehicle ran the red light southbound on Cleveland Avenue at Victoria Avenue and crashed into Officer Johnson’s marked patrol vehicle. The small compact vehicle then fled the scene south on Cleveland Avenue. Officer Johnson pursued the fleeing vehicle and caught up to as it turned into Lee Memorial Hospital.
The sole occupant jumped out of the vehicle with a large laceration across his neck. This subject, later identified as Jeffrey Paterson (d.o.b. 03-22-1960) was triaged as a trauma alert and immediacy entered the emergency room.
Based on the initial investigation the following was determined: Paterson advised he and his boyfriend, James Cannon, (d.o.b. 04-17-1984) were driving on First Street when a verbal argument ensued. While stopped at the traffic light at First Street and Park Street, Cannon removed a box cutter and sliced Paterson across the neck. Cannon then fled the scene on foot. Paterson immediately drove himself to the hospital and in the process struck Officer Johnson’s patrol vehicle.
Paterson was able to provide preliminary information to officers at the hospital prior to surgery. Officers located witnesses who advised Cannon jumped into the Caloosahatchee River and was hiding on one of Edison Bridge’s support beams.
Officers with the assistance of LCSO Aviation Unit, and FMPD Marine Unit conducted a search for Cannon via land, air and sea. After an extensive search, Cannon was discovered hiding in the water on the east side of the Caloosa Harbor Retirement Center.
Cannon was taken into custody without incident and transported to the Lee County Jail. Detective Bureau responded for the follow up investigation and Cannon was charged with aggravated battery (domestic violence). Officer Johnson sustained minor injuries from the crash. The status of Paterson is unknown at this time.