JSO assistant chief demoted after DUI arrest

JSO Assistant Chief Larry Jones
JSO Assistant Chief Larry Jones (Jacksonville Sheriff's Office image)

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Jacksonville Sheriff's Office Assistant Chief Larry Jones has been demoted following his arrest over the weekend on a DUI charge.

On Tuesday, Sheriff John Rutherford demoted Jones to a lieutenant and reassigned to the Community Affairs Division.  Lt. Tony Jones will assume the rank and duties of assistant chief in Patrol Zone 5.

Larry Jones was arrested early Saturday morning on suspicion of driving under the influence in St. Johns County after he rear-ended a tractor-trailer that was slowing for a red light, according to the Florida Highway Patrol.

Troopers charged Jones with DUI and DUI with property damage. He was also issued a citation for careless driving.

Troopers said Jones was was exiting Interstate 95 to State Road 206 around 12:48 a.m. when he struck the rear of the big rig. The responding officer wrote in the accident report that Jones "showed signs of impairment ... his eyes were bloodshot, watery and he had a strong odor of an alcoholic beverage emitting from his breath."

The trooper who conducted a field sobriety test noted that Jones did not touch heel-to-toe and took an incorrect number of steps when walking a line, and used his arms to balance, swayed and put his foot down several times while attempting to stand on one foot.

An FHP spokesman said Jones identified himself as an off-duty JSO officer at the time of the arrest. After his arrest, he refused consent for a breath test.

He was booked into the St. Johns County jail, then released on bond.

According to the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office's website, Jones was the commander of Zone 5, a district that includes parts of Northwest and West Jacksonville.

Jones has been with the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office since 1991, according to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement.

Tony Davis, a lieutenant in Special Events/Community Affairs, has assumed the rank of assistant chief.