Rochester Man Accused of Biting Woman in Centralia Also Facing Attempted Murder Case in Cowlitz County


A Rochester man who was out on bail for an attempted murder case filed in Cowlitz County now faces assault charges in Lewis County Superior Court after he allegedly bit a woman in the face when she refused to kiss him, attempted to flee from law enforcement and kicked an arresting officer in the groin. 

Jeremiah James Johnson, 43, was booked into the Lewis County Jail just before 11:25 p.m. on Nov. 25 after officers with the Centralia Police Department responded to a dispute at a hotel in Centralia. 

The alleged victim reported that she was moving items from her room when Johnson pushed her backwards and attempted to kiss her, but she “refused and turned her face away,” according to court documents. Johnson allegedly “became angry at the refusal and bit the right side of her face.” 

Responding officers observed a bite mark on the victim’s cheek and confronted Johnson, who reportedly denied causing the injury, first saying that Johnson pushed him away and slapped him but later saying “she had bitten herself.” 

When advised he was under arrest, Johnson allegedly “tried to run from the open door of the room,” but an officer pushed him down onto the bed in the room. Johnson then allegedly tried to “keep his hands beneath his body” so an officer couldn’t handcuff him, and “kicked his legs as he was being placed into handcuffs,” striking the arresting officer in the groin and inner leg area. 

Johnson has since been charged with one count each of fourth-degree domestic-violence assault, third-degree assault of a law enforcement officer and resisting arrest. Each assault charge carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison. 

At the time of the incident, Johnson was out on $75,000 bail from the Cowlitz County Jail. He was arrested by Cowlitz County sheriff’s deputies on Sept. 17, 2021 on suspicion of second-degree assault and first-degree assault, according to reporting by the Longview Daily News. Cowlitz County Superior Court records indicate he was charged Sept. 20, 2021 with one count each of second-degree attempted murder, first-degree assault, second-degree assault and harassment. Each charge carries a domestic violence enhancement. 

A hearing to set a trial date in that case is scheduled for Dec. 29.  As of press time, the Chronicle did not have access to the details of the allegations that led to the charges. 

Given that pending case, a third-degree assault conviction on Johnson’s record and the alleged facts of the current case, Judge James Lawler set Johnson’s bail at $25,000 during a preliminary hearing on Monday. 

His arraignment hearing is scheduled for Thursday, Dec. 1.