After entering Harps wearing clown mask, suspect struggles with sheriff and officers; now in jail


An Independence County man is now in jail after being uncooperative with Independence County Sheriff Shawn Stephens and injuring Chief Deputy Aaron Moody when he resisted arrest.

Stephens answered a call Monday, April 8, at Harps Foods in Southside concerning a subject who came into the store wearing a clown mask, according to documents filed in Independence County Circuit Court.

The subject left in a vehicle, which witnesses described before the sheriff arrived. The man in question was later found around Triple D Road and identified as Dalton James Jones, 24, according to the court info.

As the sheriff was asking questions and investigating the incident, police say Jones became aggravated and very defensive. Stephens attempted to calm Jones until Jones “squared off” with the sheriff as in a “fighting/offensive stance,” according to the court documents.

Chief Deputy Aaron Moody then arrived on scene to help subdue Jones while detective Michael Moody quickly pulled up for assistance as well. The court docs note a Taser was used on Jones multiple times to no effect.

After breaking free and fleeing on foot, Jones was cuffed and taken into custody after finally complying to the officers.

He is charged with second-degree battery — a felony and three misdemeanors: obstructing governmental operations, fleeing on foot, and resisting arrest.

Since Jones has previously been convicted of four or more felonies, he is being tried as a habitual offender.

His bond was set by Judge Taylor at $20,000.

Chief Deputy Moody received at least two lacerations to the back of his neck during the struggle.

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