A Greenville man and ECU student charged with being a military deserter has been wanted by the Armed Forces since 2009.
ECU police say 27-year-old Adam Johnson was arrested Wednesday night on the portion of the city's greenway that runs through campus. Authorities say officers often patrol that area to make sure no one is drinking or smoking marijuana there. When the officers found a man and woman in a dark wooded area just off the path, they asked for identification. Entering Johnson's name in the system revealed an order for his arrest.
ECU police say the arrest order was issued in Kentucky on October 19, 2009. Officials at the Pitt County Detention Center say Johnson was in the Army, and they have contacted Fort Bragg about what happens next for him.
A family friend tells WITN Johnson tried to resolve this issue two years ago and had no luck. She said he contacted military officials, who said they did not have his information and said they could not help him.
There are two army bases in Kentucky: Fort Campbell and Fort Knox. It's not clear if Johnson was stationed at either of these bases.
Johnson was charged only with being a military deserter; officers found he was not actively breaking any laws on the greenway. He was said to be making a first appearance Thursday morning.
Officials say Johnson is a current student at ECU. He enrolled in the university last August. He was also a student from August 2003 - May 2006, according to a university spokeswoman.
We asked ECU officials if the admissions office searches applicants for outstanding arrest warrants or military orders of arrest, like the one Johnson had prior to his second time enrolling in the university. Officials say the admissions applications has a set of questions that asks about conduct and judicial information. One question asks whether one has served in the military and whether they received any kind of discharge other than an honorable one. Officials say answering "yes" to the question or not answering the question could prompt further review by the admissions department. Privacy laws prohibit officials from saying how Johnson answered that question on his application to enroll at ECU in 2012.
Twenty-seven-year-old Adam Johnson, of Greenville is behind bars in the Pitt County jail this morning, accused of being a military deserter. He's being held without bond, according to online records.
We'll be asking what branch and base Johnson was at before his alleged desertion.