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Officer who left scene of accident charged with hit and run | Duluth News Tribune | Duluth, Minnesota

imagesPublished April 09, 2013, 12:00 AM

Officer who left scene of accident charged with hit and run

A former Duluth police Officer of the Year has been charged with hit and run after twice backing his personal car into another vehicle in a parking lot outside a Lincoln Park bar and leaving the scene while off duty last month.

By: Mark Stodghill, Duluth News Tribune

A former Duluth police Officer of the Year has been charged with hit and run after twice backing his personal car into another vehicle in a parking lot outside a Lincoln Park bar and leaving the scene while off duty last month.

Officer Brian Jones, a 15-year member of the department, was charged by the Lake County Attorney’s Office in Two Harbors with the misdemeanor crime after the case was referred there to avoid a conflict of interest in Duluth.

The maximum penalty for the crime is 90 days in jail and a $1,000 fine.

Jones has returned to duty after being placed on administrative leave. The department currently is conducting an administrative investigation of the officer’s actions.

Jones, who was Duluth’s Police Officer of the Year in 2006 when he worked as the Lincoln Park neighborhood officer, apologized for his actions. He said that he made an error in judgment that night.

“I am grateful the damage was minimal and that no one was hurt,” Jones said. “The charge is appropriate and fair, and I intend to take responsibility for what I did. I wish to apologize to the owner of the vehicle I hit, my family and those I care about, my co-workers, the administration of the police department and the public.”

Jones, 50, was not in his car when police responded to Mitch’s bar, 2113 W. Superior St., about 9:16 p.m. March 14 after receiving a report of a hit and run that just occurred to an unoccupied parked vehicle. An investigation by Duluth police revealed that Jones had backed his car into the parked vehicle twice.

Jones worked as a Minneapolis police officer for two years before joining the Duluth department in 1998. He is a member of the department’s tactical response team, which responds to all incidents when officers’ lives may be in danger. He also is a member of the entry team, which is the most dangerous position on the special weapons and tactics team because its members make the initial entry into a building to execute drug search warrants, rescue hostages and in incidents involving barricaded, armed suspects.

“I hope this will be a reminder to all how a moment of poor judgment can forever change your life and how quickly it can occur,” Jones said. “I do not want this incident to define my career as a police officer. I will take the steps necessary to ensure an incident such as this never occurs again — to be an example to others of someone who made a mistake, but overcame the adversity and used it positively.”

via Officer who left scene of accident charged with hit and run | Duluth News Tribune | Duluth, Minnesota.

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