ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – He’s got a long rap sheet, Thuran Johnson has racked up countless battery charges, arson and even vandalism at the Taste of India restaurant in December. A lot of those cases have been dismissed because each time he was found incompetent to stand trial, now he’s facing federal charges.
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Johnson was in federal court Wednesday morning for assaulting someone at a Post Office near Juan Tabo and Indian School, back in June. Since the attack happened on federal property, he’s being charged in federal court.
The criminal complaint says Johnson approached the victim outside the Post Office asking where they were from. When the victim told him India, the report says Johnson attacked them, punched and kicked them.
Johnson was also charged with vandalizing the Taste of India restaurant. Surveillance video shows Johnson throwing bottles at the restaurant and taking a trash can to the window. He also left behind handwritten notes with racial slurs. That case has since been dismissed because he was found incompetent to stand trial.
Back in 2013, Johnson pled guilty to beating up a mailman, another federal charge. He was given credit for time served in that case and only spent about a year behind bars.
Prior to that conviction, Johnson had been arrested more than two dozen times for similar attacks, including a case in 2007 when more than a dozen UNM students said Johnson had punched or kicked them.
KRQE News 13 asked the United States attorney why Johnson isn’t being charged with a hate crime in this case, but they declined to comment. During his initial appearance, the court decided to keep Johnson locked up until his preliminary hearing which is scheduled for September 28.
After the Taste of India case was dismissed, the Bernalillo County district attorney requested Johnson be held in the Behavioral Health Institute in Las Vegas, New Mexico, because he’s a threat to the community. That also got dismissed earlier this month because the court said they could not prove Johnson was a danger.