When National Football League teams and players make national headlines in the offseason, it’s generally not a good thing. Such was the case last week when questions were raised about Jacksonville Jaguars running back Maurice Jones-Drew being involved in an incident that left a St. Johns County security guard unconscious, according to a report in the Florida Times-Union. Initial media reports said Jones-Drew had been arrested, though they were soon corrected to indicate that Jones-Drew was simply a suspect in an ongoing investigation related to a security guard being punched at a St. Augustine restaurant. Police have said they expect prosecutors to make a decision this week on whether or not to charge Jones-Drew, the newspaper reported.
The incident and ensuing media coverage has evolved into a series of conflicting stories and accounts of what actually took place. Jacksonville Attorneys for the restaurant and the security guard both say there is clear video evidence that shows exactly what happened during the May 26 incident, the newspaper reported. Police have not released the video, which will eventually become public — either as part of the discovery files once the case is filed or once the investigation is closed. Jones-Drew initially denied any involvement and was reported to be fully cooperating with police, though a planned Friday interview with police did not occur, the newspaper reported. Jones-Drew had already left the restaurant by the time police arrived on the scene, the newspaper reported, so police have yet to speak with him regarding this St. Johns County Battery Case.
Jones-Drew is accused of hitting the man with his fist so, if he is indeed arrested, he would likely face a misdemeanor battery. It would be punishable by up to one year in the county jail. When other items, like a baseball bat or a pistol, are brought in and used to injure something, the charges can be more serious – often upgraded to felony charges. In some St. Johns County Battery Cases when the allegations are made against an athlete or celebrity who is well-known and assumingly well-off financially, the issues of settlements and lawsuits inevitably come up. It took one business day for the restaurant and the guard to find personal injury lawyers. Those cases are handled separately, in front of different judges and generally following some sort of resolution with the criminal cases. A person in a St. Johns Battery Case similar to Jones-Drew could be cleared of criminal charges, but then be found at-fault in a civil case and end up on the hook for thousands of dollars in expenses for the alleged victim. The video will likely be the turning point in this St. Johns County Battery Case, and will likely be the evidence upon which prosecutors will make their filing decision. Whenever it is released, if will likely be broadcast repeatedly through various media outlets.
If you or a loved one needs a criminal defense attorney in St. Augustine or the surrounding area, call The Mussallem Law Firm at (904) 365-5200 for a FREE CONSULTATION. Our St. Johns County Battery Attorney, Victoria “Tori” Mussallem, is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.