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St. Augustine Police explain why it issued two differing press releases about Maurice Jones-Drew case

8:01 PM, May 29, 2013   |    comments
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ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. -- The staff tried to conduct business as usual at the Conch House restaurant and marina in St. Augustine Wednesday.  

On Tuesday, The Conch House received national attention due to an altercation between Jaguars football player Maurice Jones Drew and a security officer during a weekly event, "Reggae Sunday".

The St. Augustine Police Department issued two differing media releases about the incident on Tuesday. 

The first release said police filed battery charges against Jones-Drew, but the second release said Jones-Drew "has not been charged with any crime."

Wednesday, St. Augustine Police Spokesman Mark Samson said, "That was me."

He said the mix-up boiled down to terminology.

"I placed in the first one that there was a complaint filed, charges filed on Mr. Jones which is not factual," Samson explained. "The fact is the State Attorney's Office in St. Johns County -- and any county in Florida -- files the charge with itself."

Samson said the State Attorney's Office had not filed charges yet, because the police department is still investigating. 

However, the alleged victim has filed a complaint with the police department.

The complaint says Jones-Drew was helping a friend at the restaurant, got into an altercation, and punched the alleged victim with a "closed fist on his left cheek."   

The alleged, unnamed victim was taken to Flagler Hospital with a bruised jaw.  Jones-Drew left before police arrived.

The owner of the Conch House declined an on-camera interview, but released a statement:   

At this time we are currently investigating the incident that occurred during Reggae Sunday at the Conch House. Once we have finished reviewing our footage and interviews we will determine our course of action. We regret that any of our customers and staff had to experience such an incident. - David Ponce Jr.

Police continue to investigate and say Jones-Drew is cooperating.

"Through his attorney, he's offered to come and give us his side of the story and give us a written statement as well," Samson said. 

Jones-Drew's agent has reportedly stated that, "Maurice was not involved in any physical altercation, whatsoever."

First Coast News

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