New Mexico authorities have named UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones as the prime suspect in a hit-and-run accident which occurred in their state on April 26.
UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones is the prime suspect of a hit-and-run accident in New Mexico.
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According to Rick Nathanson of The Albuquerque Journal, Jones is facing a felony after he allegedly fled the scene of the accident involving a pregnant woman in her 20s who suffered a broken arm on Sunday.
Albuquerque Police Department spokesman Tanner Tixier told Nathanson had the victim suffered only minor injuries, Jones would have been charged with just a misdemeanor. Since authortiies found out she broke her arm, Jones now might be charged with a felony.
A separate ESPN update says the woman also suffered a wrist injury. She will undergo an ultrasound on April 28. Tixier told ESPN Jones, the reigning UFC light heavyweight champion, will be charged with leaving the scene of a crime.
In addition, Jones "would be liable for damages to the vehicles involved and the medical costs for the woman," per ESPN.
The accident took place at around 11:20 a.m. PT at Juan Tabo and Southern SE when an SUV ran a red light and then hit the pregnant woman's vehicle, per The Albuquerque Journal. An officer at the scene by the name of J. Sullivan and saw the perpetrator flee the scene on foot and then return to the SUV to get a large amount of money before disappearing again.
"Witnesses stated he shoved cash into his pants and ran north," the Albuquerque Police Department report said (via ESPN).
Police discovered Jones' MMA sports memorabilia, vehicle rental paperwork which states Jones' wife rented the SUV and a pipe containing marijuana inside the SUV, per Nathanson.
The accident involved three vehicles, per ESPN.
Tixier informed The Albuquerque Journal police went to Jones' residence but he was not home when they got there. They reached out to his agent, who provided them with a number of his client's lawyer. The attorney did not return phone calls by the police.
ESPN also tried to reach out to Jones' camp on Sunday evening, to no avail.
Tixier added local authorities know Jones' trainer, Greg Jackson, who they work out with. He told Nathanson "if Jon Jones wanted to reach out to us, it would not be a difficult thing for him to do."
Tixier did not go into too much detail regarding the money and the pipe, which could have been used by somebody else. "No, we won't pull DNA off it," he told The Albuquerque Journal.
UFC issued on a statement on April 26, per ESPN:
"We are aware that the Albuquerque Police Department is interested in speaking to Jon Jones regarding his possible involvement in a motor vehicle accident. We are in the process of gathering facts and will reserve further comment until more information is available."
This is not the first time Jones has been involved in a vehicular accident.
Police arrested Jones in May 2012 on a DUI suspicion "after he crashed his Bentley into a telephone pole in Binghampton, New York," per ESPN. He eventually pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor DWI charge.
Jones also tested positive for cocaine in Dec. 2014 while training for his bout with Daniel Cormier. He was allowed to fight, anyway, because "the test was conducted out of competition," per ESPN. He went on to beat Cormier at UFC 182.
Nathanson says UFC fined Jones $25,000 for the positive reading and subsequently a violation of its Athlete Code of Conduct Policy instead.
Jones is scheduled to defend his light heavyweight crown against Anthony Johnson at UFC 187 in Las Vegas on May 23. UFC officials have not mentioned anything about his recent run-in with the law affecting his title defense, per The Albuquerque Journal.
The 27-year-old Jones is a native of Rochester, N.Y. who now lives in Albuquerque and trains at the Jackson-Winkeljohn gym, per Nathanson.
The full Albuquerque Police Department Police report about the Jon Jones incident can be read here.
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