Brent Johnston, the
father of Liberty County Pct. 1 Constable Justin Johnston, is pictured
with Brodee Bryan, 4, of Liberty.
A steady stream of people filed into the Hartel Building
in Liberty on Saturday for the Justin Johnston Benefit. Inside the
friends and family of the injured Liberty County constable were busy
preparing barbecue sandwich plates and selling baked goods.
All of the proceeds will go toward helping Johnston as he recuperates
from injuries he received Feb. 15 when he was struck by a car while
directing traffic on US 90 south of Dayton.
One of the youngest people attending the benefit was Brodee Bryan,
4, of Liberty. According to Brodee's parents, Bradley and Misty Bryan,
the young boy learned of the constable's accident Friday night when his
mother explained the decals she was making for the benefit.
"He started asking me like 500 questions about what happened. He
wanted to know if [Johnston] was going to be okay and if the person who
hit him went to jail," Misty said.
Brodee, determined to help the injured constable, took money from his
piggy bank and purchased some of the baked goods. Sitting with his
parents at the benefit, Brodee fidgeted with the tin badge he was given
while his parents dined on barbecue plates.
"He said he wants to be a police officer when he grows up," Bradley said.
The fundraiser was organized by Pct. 5 Constable David Hunter and his wife, Melanie, and Chuck Wagon Concessions, owned by Leo Brown of Dayton. They were assisted by numerous members of law enforcement, including Liberty County Sheriff Bobby Rader and Liberty County Jeeps.
Constable Hunter said more than 40 briskets were prepared and
800-plus sandwich trays were sold. All of the items used in the benefit
were donated or purchased using donated funds. In addition to baked
goods and barbecue sandwiches, they sold T-shirts in support of
While the final tally is not yet available, Hunter estimates that close to $20,000 was raised for Johnston.