Margate Police Arrest Man After Canal Chase for Domestic Battery, Animal Cruelty
Marcus James Johnston {BSO}

By Ryan Yousefi

After a brief foot chase, a man was located in a canal and arrested on multiple charges, including domestic battery and cruelty to a service animal.

On January 27, the Margate Police Department responded to multiple chaotic 911 calls from a residence. During the initial call, abruptly cut off, a female voice could be heard pleading for someone to “Please stop” and “Don’t touch me.”

Upon arrival at the scene, officers were met with a neighbor who reported the residence to be known for frequent disturbances, noting that the male involved had left the scene in a gray Honda SUV.

Upon knocking on the door of the home, which made the 911 call, officers found a very distraught woman whose home interior showed apparent signs of a violent altercation, including damaged furniture, water puddles, broken glass, and scattered belongings. 

The woman, visibly shaken, sought to use an officer’s phone to contact her father and began to hyperventilate when recounting her ordeal.

The victim told officers she had had an argument with her boyfriend, later identified as Marcus James Johnston, 22, of Margate, that spiraled out of control and into a massive struggle throughout the home. 

According to records, the victim told officers the dispute, which started outside, moved indoors, where Johnston began to destroy property. In an attempt to call for help, the victim’s phone was taken by Johnston, who pushed her to the ground, causing minor injuries. 

The victim explained to officers that as she lay on the ground, Johnston also attacked her service dog, Aladdin, kicking the Dachshund in the stomach. 

The report shows that as Johnston left the complex, he sped past officers who attempted to initiate a traffic stop so quickly that he struck and damaged a gate while exiting, an act witnessed by the maintenance supervisor. Officers could not stop him, and he sped through the city rapidly. 

Later in the night, police located Johnston sitting in his vehicle at the rear of a nearby Tires Plus 5200 West Sample Road.

As they approached, Johnston fled on foot, leading to a dramatic chase that ended with Johnston attempting to evade capture by jumping into a canal.

Johnston was ultimately captured and subdued, medically cleared, and charged with additional offenses, including Resisting with Violence, alongside the original charges of Domestic Violence Battery, Interfering with the use of 911, and Cruelty to Animals.

He was transported to the Broward County Main Jail and released after posting a $2,500 bond.

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Author Profile

Ryan Yousefi
Ryan Yousefi
Ryan Yousefi has lived in Coral Springs for over 30 years. He has worked as a writer for multiples outlets over the years, including the Miami New Times where he has covered sports and culture since 2013. He holds a Bachelor's Degree and a Master's Degree in Business Healthcare Management from Western Governors University.
Michael Bander