AUGUSTA, Ga. (WJBF) – One person is in custody and has been hospitalized following a traffic stop in Augusta.
Richmond County deputies conducted a traffic stop at the intersection of Highland Avenue and Clifton Street on a black SUV Monday at 7:12 pm.
The SUV was occupied by multiple people, including 24-year-old Jermaine Jones. During the traffic stop, deputies found a gun inside the car. Jones ran away, and he was tased by one deputy. According to the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, “there was a struggle between officers and Jones in the attempts to detain him.”
Deputies placed Jones in a patrol car to transport him to the Charles B. Webster Detention Center. On the way there, deputies said Jones suffered a medical emergency. He was transported to the hospital.
Jones’ family told NewsChannel 6 he had two surgeries Tuesday.
“My son is fighting for every inch of his life,” Keyana Gaines, Jones’ mother, said. “That’s not fair.”
Jones was placed in a medically-induced coma Wednesday. A doctor told Jones’ mother his injuries are not consistent with being tased as he suffered “blunt-force trauma to the head.”
Medical documents provided to NewsChannel 6 by Jones’ family indicate he was taken to the Emergency Department (ER) due to “agitation.” The findings by ER physicians indicate that Jones suffered from a “severe traumatic brain injury” with swelling of the brain, abrasions of the shoulders and no fractures.
Jones’ father, who was in the car during the traffic stop, said his son was not severely injured when he was placed in the patrol car. He believes his son sustained those head injuries while in Richmond County custody.
“From the time he was put in handcuffs to the time he was supposed to be transported to Phinizy Road [jail], something happened to my child,” Jermain Jones, Jones’ father, said. “Something happened to my child between them.”
“I want them to be held accountable because something happened to my child while he was in their custody,” Gaines added. “So, what happened?
The GBI is investigating this incident. They released the following statement:
“The GBI is investigating a use of force incident in Richmond County. On October 12, 2021, at around 10:30 a.m., the Richmond County Sheriff’s Office asked the GBI to investigate an incident that began as a traffic stop at Highland Avenue and Clifton Street in Richmond County. Officers stopped a vehicle with three men in it. One of the men, Jermaine M. Jones, Jr., age 24, of Augusta, GA, ran from police and was tased by one officer. After being tased, multiple officers detained him. There was a struggle between officers and Jones in the attempts to detain him. While on the way to the Richmond County Jail, Jones experienced symptoms requiring medical treatment. He was taken to a local hospital where he remains in critical condition.
Jones was charged by the Richmond County Sheriff’s Office with possession of a firearm by first offender (felony) and obstruction of a law enforcement officer (misdemeanor).”
The Richmond County Sheriff’s Office declined to provide body camera or dash camera footage to NewsChannel 6. They would not say if any deputies involved have been placed on administrative leave pending the investigation. RCSO provided the following statement on the incident Tuesday:
“On October 11, 2021 at 7:12pm, Richmond County Sheriff’s Office Deputies conducted a traffic stop at the intersection of Highland Avenue at Clifton Street on a black SUV occupied by multiple subjects. During the course of the traffic stop, one of the subjects fled on foot and was tased by a Deputy and taken into custody. While enroute to the Charles B. Webster Detention Center, the subject experienced a medical emergency and Deputies transported the subject to the hospital for treatment.
The investigation into this matter was turned over to the Georgia Bureau of Investigation.
No further information available at this time.”
Jones has been charged with possession of a firearm by a first offender and obstruction of a law enforcement officer in connection with this incident.
He is serving probation for aggravated assault in October 2019, in which he fired a gun at an ex-girlfriend.
In August 2019, he was accused of punching and kicking the same ex-girlfriend. He was charged with misdemeanor simple battery family violence, but he has yet to be tried on that charge.
The GBI is actively investigating the traffic stop. If you have any information, you can send an anonymous tip HERE or by contacting the GBI at 1-800-597-8477.
Count on WJBF NewsChannel 6 for more information as it comes available.