A 14 year veteran of the New Orleans police force was arrested on hit-and-run charges for an accident which allegedly occurred last September in the city’s Lower Garden District. The New Orleans Police Department’s Public Integrity Bureau also placed 38-year-old Roger J. Jones, Jr. on emergency suspension without pay based on allegations that he drove recklessly, ignored a traffic signal, hit a parked car, and left the scene of an accident.
Jones was previously booked on charges stemming from another hit-and-run crash which purportedly took place on the same day in Jefferson Parish. According to investigators, Jones allegedly crashed his New Orleans Police Department vehicle in Metairie. After a Louisiana State Trooper visited Jones’ home, smelled alcohol on his breath, and observed damage to the cruiser, Jones told the Trooper he hit a curb and a pole. Upon further investigation, there was no sign of an accident where Jones claimed the damage to his vehicle occurred. While on the scene, an alleged hit-and-run by a police cruiser at another location was reported to police. Police became suspicious after learning the vehicle purportedly hit was red and part of the damage to Jones’ cruiser included red paint streaks. Jones is currently awaiting trial in that case.
Jones previously served in the city’s 8th District as a “quality of life” officer. Prior to his latest arrest, Jones was placed on desk duty over the charges in Jefferson Parish. A spokesperson for the New Orleans Police Department stated that more details regarding Jones’ arrest will be revealed at a later time. Donovan Livaccari, Jones’ attorney, believes the arrest was unnecessary and local police should have instead issued a summons in accordance with departmental policy. Of the 6,000 hit-and-run accidents in New Orleans last year, only 200 individuals were physically arrested.
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