Florida medical board issues emergency suspension of psychiatrist William J. Johns III

October 5, 2007

On October 5, 2007 the Florida Board of Medicine issued an emergency suspension of psychiatrist William J. Johns III's license. Johns pleaded "not responsible by reason of mental disease or defect" to charges that he tried to kidnap a 2-year-old in New York City from his mother in summer 2006.  According to the Florida Board's order, Johns “believed he was a character in a movie and that other people were actually… observing him.”  He left Florida and drove to New York City. There, on a Manhattan pier, the order states, “He became fixated on a 2-year-old boy playing with his mother… Dr. Johns related that there were certain moments when he thought the child was an alien, or super-human, but later determined that the child was in danger of falling in the water or being hit by a bus and had to be saved from his mother, who was from outer space." 1

1 James Kirley, ”State suspends license of Vero psychiatrist incarcerated in New York,” Vero Beach Press-Journal, 5 Oct. 2007.


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