Athlete out on bail, known storyteller

Florida A&M University student and football player Mike Johnson, who was arrested Feb. 22 and charged with two misdemeanors of filing a false police report and statement, has been released from Leon County jail with bail.

Johnson reported a robbery to the FAMU Police Department Feb. 19 in Gibbs Hall at approximately 5:10 a.m. Later, he admitted to authorities that he made up a story about a robbery and damaged his own dorm room to make it seem like a legitimate breaking and entering, stated the police report.

FAMU PD officer Angela Kirkland explained what led investigators to believe Johnson’s claims were false.

“We looked at the evidence and we never received any additional witnesses, and that was strange,” Kirkland said.

Johnson’s story was that two gunmen threatened him. He also said three masked individuals vandalized his dorm room with markings stating “Mike + Football = Death.”

Kirkland said FAMU PD investigated the crime immediately and Johnson confessed Friday during an interview.

“These (false reports) are uncommon,” Kirkland said. “We’ve received reports before about a false incident, but not like this.”

Johnson has not revealed his intentions behind reporting the false incident, but FAMU PD said his lying was a serious crime.

“We have other calls to tend to,” Kirkland said. “It’s a misdemeanor and he can get up to a year in prison.”

Gibbs Hall resident Alfonzo Walker, freshman from Eustis, Fla. and football team member, said this was not the first time Johnson created false information.

“Since he’s been here, crazy stuff has been happening to him, so I didn’t know really what to think out of this,” said Walker, 18. “I just figured he was hanging around with the wrong crowd. We’ve been here since the summer (2007), and being on the football team with all of us hanging together, nobody really came at us talking about don’t play or they will rob us or anything like that.”

Walker said according to Johnson, everything bad usually happened to him for some odd reason.

“He would mention stuff you would never even think of,” Walker said.

Walker explained some of Johnson’s stories.

“He said he was out here (on campus) walking and a car hit him,” Walker said. “He said a cat or a dog ran across the road and a car hit him. We’ve been here since the summer and nobody came close to being hit by a car or nothing.”

University spokeswoman Sharon Saunders released a statement regarding the incident.

“Although the University is pleased that this student has come forward and provided an accurate depiction of what truly transpired, we are saddened by the confusion and level of discomfort it has brought to students and parents especially after the incident at the Northern Illinois University,” she said.

Saunders went on to explain the University’s concern over the incident. She also made mention of the increase of security at FAMU.

“What Mr. Johnson alleged was very serious and I’m sure that now that the truth is out, students living on campus, and in that residence hall particularly, will now feel more at ease,” Saunders said. “With the recent approval by the FAMU Board of Trustees to hire four additional police officers, the administration has shown a high level of commitment to safety for its students and employees.”

Johnson faces up to a year in prison.