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Man escapes from custody at Mitchell Airport, still on the run: Sheriff

"Extreme caution is advised if Johnson is encountered."
Robert R. Johnson, Jr.
Posted at 5:45 AM, Nov 10, 2021
and last updated 2021-11-10 19:52:00-05

MILWAUKEE — The Milwaukee County Sheriff's Office says a person in custody being transporting from Texas to Rock County escaped Tuesday night and is still on the run.

The office identified Robert R. Johnson, Jr., 39 years old, as the escaped person in custody.

Authorities say he has an extensive criminal record and faces aggravated assault and burglary charges.

"Extreme caution is advised if Johnson is encountered. Anyone who sees or makes contact with him should call 911 immediately," the office warned in a statement.

He escaped from the hands of officers with a private correctional contractor called U.S. Corrections around 9:30 p.m. at Milwaukee Mitchell International Airport. He and the contractors were at the airport as they traveled from Laredo, Texas to Rock County, Wisconsin.

The office says Johnson is a native of Rockford, Illinois and has no known ties to the Milwaukee area.

Johnson is described as being 5’7”, 145 pounds, and having a facial tattoo of a star. He was last seen wearing a black jacket, white t-shirt and blue ripped pants.

He also had on a single handcuff and had been outfitted with a RIPP restraining belt, according to the sheriff's office.

Officials say Johnson was released from one of the two handcuffs used to secure him while in the restroom. He then rushed his escort, striking or shoving him, and led a foot chase before entering an airport parking structure. Officials say he proceeded westbound, in the direction of South Howell Ave.

Police say it appears Johnson had fled airport grounds, and a man matching his description was located in the area of 3rd and Grange around 9:42 p.m.

The search perimeter was expanded, including a significant portion of Milwaukee's far south side, but he has not been found, officials say.