Police arrest former city commissioner

Historic City News crime reporters noted that Friday night was a busy night for arrests by the St Augustine Police Department according to the booking records available from the St Johns County Sheriff’s Office.

Among those arrests was a 73-year-old former city commissioner who, in the past, accused an all-white local police department of being overly aggressive and targeting him for arrest because he is black. This time, Jones is accused of committing aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, a third-degree felony, and resisting a police officer making an arrest.

Corporal Jonathan Marston responded to a domestic disturbance call at former Commissioner Jones’ residence at 9:15 p.m. Friday, March 11th. For the past two years, Jones and a family member have shared the home at 60 Julia Street.

Jones told Corporal Marston that after he returned home from a store, he got into an argument with his relative about a female friend who was allowed into the house when he was away. Jones alleged that the woman would steal things from the home.

Marston reported that he asked Jones if the argument Friday night was verbal or physical, and Jones responded that it was “verbal only”. Jones would not provide any further information about what happened before officers arrived, according to Corporal Marston.

When asked for his account of what had occurred, the relative stated that the two men had gotten into a verbal argument about the location of the television remote control. The argument escalated to profane language.

At that point, the relative asked Jones where his Toyota 4-Runner was parked. Apparently, Jones has been known to loan the vehicle “to questionable people”.

The question provoked Jones to go into the kitchen and remove two steak knives from the drawer. The victim says Jones came at him, armed with the knives, pushed him against the wall, and held the points of the knives to his throat.

Marston did not observe any wounds on the victim, who provided police with a written statement of the events and told officers at the scene that one of the knives was still located inside the house on the couch closest to the door.

Marston said that when he returned to the residence, he did observe one steak knife with approximately a four inch blade sitting on the couch.

Assisted by police investigator Kevin Carroll, Marston took Jones by the wrist and instructed him to place his hands behind his back. Jones refused to cooperate, according to the report. Carroll and Marston repeated the order, to which Jones responded by tensing his arms and resisting efforts to restrain his hands.

During their efforts, Jones reportedly told them to “throw me on the ground and tase me”. The officers physically forced Jones’ hands behind his back, while still standing, and placed him in handcuffs.

Jones was placed under arrest and transported to the county jail. A day later, Jones remains in custody in lieu of $2,000 bond.

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