Archive for Thursday, October 20, 2005

Victim says she’s due a just reward

Woman turns in her boyfriend but can’t collect from Crime Stoppers

October 20, 2005


The response was swift.

Five of the 10 people identified by the sheriff's office as Douglas County's "Most Wanted" fugitives were arrested within two days of the article appearing in Monday's Journal-World.

"I think they were all results of the article and law enforcement actively working on the tips that we received," said Lt. Kari Wempe, of the Douglas County Sheriff's Office.

Between 40 and 45 calls came into the county's Crime Stoppers hot line, 843-TIPS, on Monday alone. But at least one of the callers - the ex-girlfriend of one of the men on the list - is upset because she was told she wouldn't be eligible to receive a cash reward.

"I believe it's wrong that I don't get the reward," said Jessica Herpel, 31.

Herpel said she is the ex-girlfriend of Aaron D. Johnson, 29, who was wanted for violating probation in a 1995 forgery case. She alleges that about 1 a.m. Tuesday, Johnson came to her apartment at Hampton Court, 1722 W. 24th St., forced his way inside, and pushed her to the ground.

Jessica Herpel, who lives at 1722 W. 24th St., holds a picture of her former boyfriend, who she turned in to police, hoping to collect the reward. Crime Stoppers says she isn't due a reward because she called 911, not the hot line.

Jessica Herpel, who lives at 1722 W. 24th St., holds a picture of her former boyfriend, who she turned in to police, hoping to collect the reward. Crime Stoppers says she isn't due a reward because she called 911, not the hot line.

She fled the apartment and called 911. Initially, police came to the complex but couldn't find Johnson, she said, but he returned to her apartment later in the night. According to jail records, he was then arrested on suspicion of domestic battery and criminal damage to property - in addition to his outstanding 1995 case.

Herpel said she'd called the Crime Stoppers hot line on Monday - before her encounter with Johnson - to pass on information about his whereabouts, but that she didn't get a call back from Crime Stoppers until after his arrest Tuesday.

To her surprise, she was told she wasn't eligible for a reward because she called 911 instead of reporting Johnson through Crime Stoppers.

"If someone is in your backyard or your home, you're going to call 911, not the TIPS hotline and wait for a voice mail," she said.

Herpel said she could use the reward money because she wants to find a new place to live and to get away from Johnson.

Douglas County Undersheriff Ken Massey, who takes Crime Stoppers calls, said it's true he told Herpel she wasn't eligible for a reward because it wasn't her call to Crime Stoppers that led to Johnson's arrest. But he said he'd be willing to describe her case to the private organization's board members to see if they'd be willing to pay her a reward.

Just because someone is arrested as a result of a Crime Stoppers' tip doesn't mean he or she will get a reward. Massey estimated that the group pays a reward in roughly one out of 10 cases involving an arrest.

Also, though Crime Stoppers advertises paying a reward of "up to $1,000," Massey said he couldn't recall a case where the organization actually has paid $1,000.

"It would have to be a major felony case," he said.

That's not to say that people don't occasionally collect. Most recently, he said, the organization paid $100 last month for a tip that led to the arrest of someone wanted for a parole violation.

Those on the "Most Wanted" list who were arrested between Monday and Tuesday were Johnson, Mark T. Backun II, Thomas A. Ray, Troy E. Jarrett and Mandy S. Goodman.

Goodman, Backun and Ray all were released from jail on bond and given future court dates. Jarrett and Johnson remained in the Douglas County Jail as of Wednesday evening.


lunacydetector 12 years, 8 months ago

......'where fashion fits, puttin' on the ritz'

"PUTTIN' ON THE RIIIIITZ!"..........from the movie, Young Frankenstein -("pronounced Fronkensteen")

neopolss 12 years, 8 months ago

dressed up like a million dollar trooper....

Sigmund 12 years, 8 months ago

Note to self. When turning a wanted felon who assualts me, call Crime Stoppers (tm).

junco_partner 12 years, 8 months ago

And suddenly after October of 2005 the number of calls into crime stoppers decreased dramatically.... hmmmm.... I wonder why????

hawkeyes 12 years, 8 months ago

I agree with junco...this is going to discourage calls to crime stoppers.

Now, this woman's address is plastered on the public paper and she hasn't a cent to move. The paper even quoted Massey, "...couldn't recall a case that has actually paid $1000."

Makes it seem worth it, doesn't it?

HUB 12 years, 8 months ago

Crime stoppers is not set up to fund and deal with every single call that come into the police. It is designed for the few calls in which someone wants to remain anonymous. This lady obviously did not want to remain anonymous because she was on channel 6 news last night and now on the front page of the paper.

I called the police on my neighbor yesterday because his cat was crapping in my yard. I think I am entitled to some money as well. Only in this country does it pay to be a victim...........

bugmenot 12 years, 8 months ago

HUB said, "I called the police on my neighbor yesterday because his cat was crapping in my yard. I think I am entitled to some money as well."

Seems to me that you're entitled to a fine for making frivolous accusations.

OldEnuf2BYurDad 12 years, 8 months ago

I think she should be awarded the money.

Then, a "Stupidity Fine" should be levied against her in an amount equal to her award, as punishment for dating an Abby Normal dude like that. I'm glad the article didn't mention them having any children together. That thought would have ruined my day.

Holloween will be far less "Holloweeny" with that guy in jail.

[shaking all over with heebie-jeebies]

holly4end 12 years, 8 months ago

Jessica should be charged with harboring a fugitive, afterall, she has lived with Mr. Johnson for awhile now. Her phone is listed in the name Jessica Johnson. Hum, are they married? My hope is that she does receive some reward money then she might pay some child support to her 4 children that live with their respective fathers or are in foster care! I agree that she consented to the interview and put herself in this situation. Has anyone noticed that the picture is of Jessica on the outside of the apartment and the Channel 6 interview is in the parking lot? Guess "Jessie" doesn't want us to see the inside of her apartment.

grubesteak 12 years, 8 months ago

DonQuipunch, having experience in this area, I'd have to say that you're wrong. Eric Weslander probably had no say in how the headline would read.

That would have been up to the design desk and the editors. Hardly likely Weslander would have had a hand in it (aside from writing the story).

patty555 12 years, 8 months ago

Jessica has been in and out of abusive relationships all of her life. It is not until she realizes one of them is on the most wanted list and a reward is being offered that she decides to contact the authorities. Jessica and Aaron do have a child together that was taken into SRS custody immediately after birth. The baby has been in foster care for its entire life. Jessica's other children, 2 that live with different fathers and 1 that has been legally adopted by a foster family are better off with out her. What would have happened if the kids would have been in the house when this wanted felon knocked the door down???

Funny, just a week ago, he had keys and did not need to knock the door down. But Jessie Johnson, as her name is listed in the phone book looks to cash in.

dotteboy 12 years, 8 months ago

All problems with 911 and Crimestoppers aside, if this broad is 31 I just got younger buy 10 years. Note to self-Career as barfly bad for youthful good looks.

HUB 12 years, 8 months ago

Hey bugmenot......I have one word for you ......."sarcasm". Look it up.

patty555 12 years, 8 months ago

Just do a search on for Jessica Herpel and you will find her in another story....

Quoting a story from 8-15-2003:

I can't speak for everyone," Herpel said, "but the people I know are on food stamps because they have kids and they can't afford food -- and they can't work because day care costs so much or they don't have a car or they've been laid off and they can't find a job."

Herpel was standing outside the Lawrence Interdenominational Nutritional Kitchen, 221 W. 10th St., shortly before noon Thursday.

Homeless the past two weeks, Herpel said she was pregnant with her fifth child. Three of her four children, she said, have gone to live with their fathers; the fourth is up for adoption."

The first 2 children were taken from her by SRS for neglect and abuse and placed with their respective fathers. The 3rd died of pnuemonia. The 4th was a shaken-baby who has been adopted. And the 5th was taken also and is in foster care. Jessica does not hold down a job and continues to look for ways to cheat the system.

glockenspiel 12 years, 8 months ago

Goodman, Backun and Ray all were released from jail on bond and given future court dates.

Why do I expect to see these three on the next "Most Wanted" posting? I hope the bail they posted was higher than the awards they gave to apprehend them...

Terry Bush 12 years, 8 months ago

Is it just me, or does she LOOK a whole lot like the picture she's holding up? Hmmmm. Wonder if she's opposed to dating (turning in) her brother???

kujeeper 12 years, 8 months ago

Who would date a felon, turn him in to police, and then allow themselves to be put on the front page of the paper and the local news cast?

Sounds like a person who wants some pity, or wants their door kicked in again when the felon gets out.

So sad....

edie_ 12 years, 8 months ago

This woman's address is absolutely irrelevant to the content of the story.

nefball1031 12 years, 8 months ago

just becuase they date a felon doesn't mean they know it. a person who you pass on the sidewalk could have killed a person and you wouldn't know unless you saw them on tv. not every arrest gets on the news or newspaper.

But anyway, she should get her reward. who's going to call the tips hotline when someone is in there house. i guess 911 is pointless now

HUB 12 years, 8 months ago

I say no more stories about round abouts or anarchists. Both are worthless.

kansasboy 12 years, 8 months ago

Hey buy that lady on of those "Stop snitching" shirts. You know what they say "Snitchs get stiches."

monkeywrench1969 12 years, 8 months ago

She knows the dude and that he was wanted please. Who would make a guess she loves him and then hates him then loves him and hates him.

I have a suggestion NORPLANT. She and her boyfriend are adults and can fight all they want but stop bringing kids into the chaos especially since she can't take care of them or even be responsible while carrying one.

Calliope877 12 years, 8 months ago

She looks like an idiot. I personally don't feel any sympathy for her, but maybe that's just me. And I agree that LJW shouldn't have printed this story.

JenCoop1982 12 years, 8 months ago

I went ahead and looked up the article from 8-15-03 just to see what it was pertaining to and what do ya know!! FOODSTAMPS and why she is on them! this is what she said "I'm on food stamps because my social workers want me to take care of the baby that's not been born yet," she said, wiping a tear from her eye." all I can say about that is BS!! If she was such a good person and the only reason she was getting foodstamps was because she wanted to take care of her unborn child...........WHY DIDNT SHE TAKE CARE OF THE OTHER FOUR!!!!! What a loser! She has recieved enough free handouts! I say cut her off and maybe even lock her up for harboring a fugitive!!!!!!!

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