Whidbey skin doctor is in custody for alleged domestic assault
By JESSIE STENSLAND
Whidbey News Times Assistant editor
September 7, 2011 · 4:35 PM
A Whidbey Island dermatologist who was on the run from the law after allegedly assaulting his girlfriend is now in custody, according to the Island County Sheriff's Office.
Detective Ed Wallace issued a brief press release stating that 51-year-old Dr. Donald "Russell" Johnson was taken into custody in Oak Harbor at about 2 p.m. today without incident. He is being held in the county jail on suspicion of two counts of assault in the second degree — a felony domestic violence charge — and one count of felony harassment / threats to kill.
On Tuesday, the sheriff's office asked the public for help in finding Johnson. The doctor alleged assaulted his girlfriend at their Cornet Bay home and fled in his white 2003 Lexus LS40 SUV. The woman was concerned that Johnson may have been suicidal.
Johnson has been under a great amount of stress lately. He abruptly closed his dermatology clinics and medical spas in Coupeville and Anacortes this summer, leaving his patients without a doctor or access to their medical records.
He is under investigation by the Washington State Medical Quality Assurance Commission for patient abandonment, is being sued by his former landlord and owes large amounts of back taxes, according to court documents.
In addition, Johnson's wife claimed in court documents that he obtained a marriage license to marry another woman without first divorcing her.
Johnson's preliminary appearance is scheduled for 1 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 8 in Island County Superior Court.Contact Whidbey News Times Assistant editor Jessie Stensland at email@example.com or 360.675.6611 ext. 5056.