‘He’s brain dead’: Family loses hope as cops detail fateful clash
AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) - A man remains on a ventilator with severe brain injuries Thursday after a clash with Richmond County deputies left him in a coma, but his family has lost hope.
“He’s brain dead,” the family of Jermaine Jones Jr., 24, told News 12 in a statement Thursday afternoon.
They said they’ll have to decide when to take him off life support to be declared officially dead.
Richmond County Coroner Mark Bowen said his office hasn’t been notified yet and wouldn’t be unless life support had been removed, which hadn’t happened as of Thursday afternoon.
READ THE INCIDENT REPORT FROM DEPUTIES:
After Jones fled during a traffic stop Monday, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation says he was tased by one officer and there was a struggle between officers and Jones in the attempts to detain him.
The family says they asked Jones’ doctor if the injuries could have come from being tased and falling down and hitting his head.
They say the doctor told them no, it was the result of blunt-force trauma.
“How he going to fall that hard from a tase? I was right there and saw the whole thing,” said Jones’ father, Jermaine Jones Sr.
The family shared medical records with News 12 that showed Jones Jr. suffered subdural hematoma, severe traumatic brain injury and brain swelling. Doctors performed brain surgery and found a swollen and bleeding brain, according to the records.
The Richmond County Sheriff’s Office said the encounter with Jones Jr. began after deputies conducted a traffic stop at 7:12 p.m. Monday at Highland Avenue at Clifton Street on a sport utility vehicle.
Officers stopped a vehicle with three men in it, the GBI reported. One of the men, Jones Jr., ran from officers, authorities said.
Jones’ father was in the vehicle, and he told News 12 his side of the story.
He said they were on the way from a towing yard when they were pulled over. He said there were about six deputies who appeared to be narcotics officers.
He said they searched the vehicle and found a gun.
He says that’s when his son fled.
Jones Sr. said he witnessed officers hitting his son.
“They were on him beating him and I got up and said, ‘Hey, that’s my child. What are y’all doing?” Jones Sr. said.
While on the way to jail, Jones Jr. experienced symptoms requiring medical treatment, GBI reported, and he was taken to a local hospital.
The GBI got involved in the case after the sheriff’s agency requested at 10:30 a.m. Tuesday that it investigate the use of force.
Jones Jr. was charged by the Richmond County Sheriff’s Office with possession of a firearm by first offender, a felony, and obstruction of a law enforcement officer, a misdemeanor.
Jones Jr. is on probation for aggravated assault for pointing and shooting a gun at his girlfriend in 2019. In the same year, he was charged with a simple battery misdemeanor for allegedly punching his girlfriend in the face.
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