A man who was arrested earlier this month during the public comment session of an Atwater meeting said he’s being targeted by city leaders over a dispute that started with his water bill.
Police confiscated 10 marijuana plants and other items from the home of Richard Johnson on Wednesday, Sgt. Dayton Snyder confirmed. Police obtained a search warrant to enter the home about 4 p.m. after someone saw a marijuana plant outside in front of the house.
Plant material was also found in a car in the driveway, which had its windows down, according to police.
Johnson, 48, told the Sun-Star he’s been at odds with the city for about four years, noting the city has shut off the water to the home. “They target us,” he said. “It’s been hell.”
He was arrested on Oct. 10 after speaking during the public comment section of a City Council meeting when he used foul language, saying he has been mistreated by city leaders.
“I did say the word ‘bulls--t,’ ” he said Wednesday. “But, nobody goes to jail for that.”
Johnson said he has tried to pay his water bill, but that the city would not take his payment. But, the city officials say that’s not true.
The home where Johnson lives with his wife, Lori, had water until February, according to interim City Manager John Bramble. “They paid until November. They received water until February,” he said on Thursday. “They had not paid for three months, so we shut them down.”
The confiscation of the plants was the most recent visit police made to the home.
In August 2016, police took about 100 plants. The Johnsons said the plants did not belong to them, but rather to a renter.