Former Vols DB wants his 1998 Championship ring returned

May 10, 2012

Former Vols DB Steven Johnson (#34), front row, sues for the return of his ring.

After being wrongfully apprehended, beaten and incarcerated for 18 months by Pennsylvania authorities, former Tennessee Vols defensive back Steven Johnson filed a multi-million dollar civil suit seeking, among other things, his 1998 NCAA football championship ring. In Johnson’s 25-page complaint, he alleges the entire incident was based off of an erroneous warrant and seeks compensatory and punitive damages for his pain and suffering.   

The facts of his case are quite disturbing. On May 30, 2010, Johnson was at his neighborhood home in Philadelphia, PA when he was approached by warrant officers. During the arrest and without provocation, two warrant officers proceeded to physically and violently restrain Johnson. The assault caused Johnson to suffer serious injuries to include a broken knee, torn knee tendons and ligaments, a broken tooth, a broken toe nail, broken ribs, a broken finger, cuts on his forearms, and cuts on his head requiring stitches. At no time did Johnson resist, show sings of aggression, attempt to flee, or make any movement that would justify the use of excessive force.

While Johnson was incarcerated for 18 months with no opportunity for bail as there was an erroneous detainer against him, the Philadelphia Licensing and Inspection agency illegally entered his home, destroyed all his personal belongings and stole his 1998 championship ring.  After multiple requests, the agency still refuses to return the ring.

Johnson filed his nine count complaint on May 3, 2012 in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania (2:12-cv-02425-SD). He is represented by Philadelphia law firm Levin & Zeiger LLP.

Johnson was a four time letterman at Tennessee and played defensive back for Phillip Fulmer’s 13-0 1998 championship team.

Be Sociable, Share!

Tags: , , ,

Comments are closed.