Man denies harassing and touching women near OMSI

Man denies harassing and touching women near OMSI »Play Video
Jerry Johnson tells KATU before his Monday court appearance that police have arrested the wrong man. Johnson is accused of harassing and touching women near OMSI.

PORTLAND, Ore. - A man accused of harassing and touching women near OMSI has been let out of jail, and he told KATU that police have the wrong guy.

Jerry Johnson, 44, appeared in court Monday afternoon. He was told not to contact the victim or go near children.

But he's out of jail in a supervision program until his next court date.

Police arrested Johnson on Friday night after at least four reports of a man claiming to be a security guard was approaching women.

In one case, the woman said he kissed her while she was trying to get away.

“It's a dangerous thing and all that, but it's not me, you know, like I said, you know, my wife knows what type of man I am. I am a friendly guy,” Johnson told KATU just before his court appearance. "It's my family, my life they’re playing with, so I'm going to tell the story exactly how I see it. That's all I’m going to say."

Some of the women who were approached by the suspect said he was driving a minivan with the word “SECURITY” taped to the side of the door.

Johnson said the company, Arrakis, hired him as a private security guard around Tri-Met's Portland-Milwaukie light-rail bridge construction near OMSI.

KATU confirmed with the state that Johnson's security license expired in March.

After KATU called the Department of Public Safety Standards and Training, the director said there will be an investigation. DPSST could penalize a company for hiring a security guard without a valid license.

A KATU reporter tried to call the company, Arrakis, but the person who answered the Portland line hung up on her when she started asking questions.

A TriMet spokeswoman confirmed Arrakis is a subcontractor of Stacy & Witbeck and Keiwit, which are both contractors for the bridge project.

Johnson quit his job Thursday but said it had nothing to do with the accusations against him.