Inside the SUV, state police found state Rep. Jewell Jones (D), whose blood alcohol level was allegedly more than double the legal limit. In the cupholder behind him was a loaded handgun.
“If you hit me, it’s going to be very bad for you. I’ll call Governor [Gretchen] Whitmer right now,” Jones told the officers on April 6, according to a police report. “When I call Gretchen,” he allegedly continued, they would have to hand over their “IDs, badge numbers, everything.”
News of that interaction marks the latest twist in a stunning case for Jones, who turned 26 just days after the incident and is the youngest-ever member of the Michigan state House of Representatives. The police report detailing his comments was first obtained by the Detroit Free Press.
Carolyn Henry, the chief assistant prosecutor in Livingston County, Mich., confirmed to The Washington Post that the third-term lawmaker is facing eight charges, including four counts of resisting police and one for operating a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol content of more than 0.17.
Neither Jones nor his attorney, Ali Hammoud, immediately responded to a request for comment from The Post late on Wednesday. Following an arraignment last week, Hammoud noted Jones is an auxiliary police officer and a deacon in his church and said he “will continue to faithfully serve” his constituents, according to the Free Press.
A member of the Michigan National Guard, he rose to become vice-chair of the chamber’s Committee on the Military, Veterans and Homeland Security. In 2019, he was named to Forbes’s 30 Under 30 list, appearing alongside Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) and gun-control activists David Hogg and Emma González.
“I didn’t run for office just to be the youngest representative in the state’s history,” he said in a news release that year. “I ran because I wanted to be a part of forging a brighter future for the people of Michigan.”
Jones, who is term-limited in next year’s election, faced a misdemeanor charge in July 2018 after police said they found open alcohol in his car during a traffic stop. That charge was soon dismissed, MLive.com reported.
When he again came into contact with police on April 6 after rolling into a ditch off the shoulder of Interstate 96, the interaction proved to be far more chaotic.
Jones allegedly threatened the Michigan state troopers by telling them he oversaw their agency’s finances. When officers asked for an ID, he tried to show a badge and then shook his arms “as if he were about to do something,” one police report said.
“It’s not going to be good for you, I run y’all budget, bro,” he told them, according to the report.
After an ambulance arrived to transport an unidentified passenger who had been riding alongside him, Jones tried to push the first responders and climb inside their vehicle, the report said.
The troopers said in the report that they attempted twice to use a Taser on Jones and then aimed pepper spray at his eyes to get him in handcuffs. He was then transported to jail in Livingston County, where he spent the night.
Because Jones refused to take a breathalyzer test at the scene, police obtained a warrant to draw his blood before his release the following day. (The test showed a blood alcohol content of 0.19, the Free Press reported; a limit of 0.08 is needed to convict someone of drunken driving.)
On Friday, a district court judge released Jones on recognizance, instructing him to stay away from alcohol and drugs and to submit to random substance testing.
State House leaders have not made any decisions about whether he will be disciplined, according to the Free Press. But Jones appears to be taking it all in stride.
“This last week has literally been the craziest week I’ve ever had in my last as a civilian,” he wrote on Facebook on April 11, alongside a brief video from a birthday celebration.