PETERSBURG, VA (WWBT) - Former Petersburg Assistant Fire Marshal Marlow Jones has been found not guilty by a jury for a misdemeanor brandishing a firearm charge, which he says cost him his job with the fire department.
When the new city administration came in, the city hired him back in a lesser role with the building inspection department.
The Petersburg Assistant Fire Marshal is speaking out after he was arrested at his home Friday and charged with shooting at two repo men.
Marlow Jones faces two misdemeanors after the repo company said he pointed a gun at them to make them leave. Jones is challenging that claim and the reason they showed up to his door in the first place.
Petersburg police say they took the repo men's complaints to a magistrate who decided there was probable cause to take out two warrants against the Assistant Fire Marshal. Jones says he will fight the charges.
It was early Friday morning.
"When I looked out that window, I'm like, 'someone is in my yard stealing,'" Jones said.
He says he picked up his personal weapon, attached it to his hip and ran to his back yard.
"I said 'what are y'all doing man,' because at the time, I didn't know who the hell they were," he said.
That's when he noticed a tow truck.
"When I saw they were the repo men, this is what I did with the weapon, I sat it down on the bumper and I said 'ya'll have 3 seconds to leave my property," he said.
Jones claims a white van then came to take what was paid for as of last month.
"They said 'we have orders to take this van'. I said 'no you don't, you have the wrong orders' … I said 'that's not true'," he said.
"Did you fire the gun?" NBC 12 asked.
"I did not fire the gun," Jones said.
The repo men left, but shortly afterward police arrived saying the men complained Jones fired at them. Police say neighbors heard gunshots around the time this all went down.
Jones says that may be the case, but not because of his gun. He says it was, instead, because of a nearby wooded area where hunters frequent.
"They shoot like crazy over there," he said.
Jones is charged with brandishing a firearm and discharging a weapon within city limits. Police took the gun as evidence.
"They will see that gun has not been fired. They will also see that gun is not missing one round of ammunition. …I'd understand if I had my gun in the middle of the street, that's brandishing your firearm … But I'm in my yard … If you know you own something and someone says they're coming to take it, you're not just going to let them take it. …Repo man or mailman, you have no right to be in my yard," Jones said.
As assistant fire marshal, Jones is a sworn officer with power to arrest others. Friday, he was put in handcuffs and taken to the police station. Monday, he says he's filing charges against the repo men for trespassing.
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