A fired Jacksonville police officer spent a night behind bars after his arrest Friday on charges of driving under the influence. Two cars and a fence were hit prior to the DUI stop.
The arrest of Ronald Jackson, 45, comes two weeks after he was fired, ending an 11-year career with three pages of citizen and in-house complaints and disciplinary action, according to his personnel file.
Friday's incident started at Intuition Ale Works at 720 King St. where Jackson showed up for a job as a security officer whose company was hired by the business at 6:45 p.m., then drove off a few minutes later, according to the arrest report. A bit later, officers were called to two hit-and-runs on Ernest Street, a block from the bar. Witnesses told police that a black sport-utility vehicle hit a recycling bin, a pickup truck and a second vehicle and a fence before driving off, according to the police report.
Shortly after 7 p.m. police found a black Ford Explorer stopped on Riverside Avenue and then driving onto Forest Street. Its hood popped up, but the driver stopped and put it down. Officers followed the Explorer, which had a dented front end, until its hood popped up again.
The driver turned onto Magnolia Street, then hit a curb on Riverside Avenue. He got out and said, "Sarge, I'm sorry" to the sergeant who had followed him, ultimately refusing to take a field sobriety test before he was handcuffed and taken to jail just before 10 p.m., according to the arrest report.
Jackson was hired by the Sheriff's Office in April 1999 and has had 25 complaints filed against him, according to his summarized personnel report. Complaints of rudeness, unnecessary force and false arrest were made, most not sustained although he underwent informal counseling and received a supervisor's referral letter on some. In October 2010, he was suspended 20 days for unbecoming conduct and failing to be wholly candid, the records show.
But one final issue saw internal affairs recommend discipline that led to his firing.
On Jan. 20, Jackson disrupted a training academy class by arguing with an instructor over paperwork. Told to leave, he sent a classmate a text message threatening he was "gonna end it all," according to the internal affairs report. He also called the Sheriff's Office's communications center and told another officer he was going to "get his gun and blow his brains out."
Found by police, he was taken to Baptist Medical Center for involuntary examination. After being declared fit for duty on Jan. 28, he told internal affairs investigators that he had an anxiety attack and "snapped," according to the report.
The 23-page internal affairs report recommended charges of unbecoming conduct and failure to obey an order be filed against Jackson, and Undersheriff Dwain Senterfitt fired him July 22. Jackson could not be reached for comment.