Naked driver caught after pursuit

NAKED driver Jonathon Jones dangerously ran in front of oncoming cars on the Pacific Highway at New Italy before jumping back in his car, with police then pursuing him north. He was arrested after a violent struggle at Woodburn.

Jones, 22, a fitness instructor from Victoria Point, south-east of Brisbane, pleaded guilty yesterday in Lismore Local Court to two counts of assaulting police officers and one count of resisting arrest on October 1.

There was no evidence Jones was drunk or on drugs at the time of his bizarre behaviour, with police taking him to Lismore Base Hospital for assessment. A mental health doctor found Jones had no mental health issues.

When his car was stopped at Woodburn by road works, Jones ran from police, resisting arrest by twisting and turning before punching two officers in the face. His arms and legs were grabbed and while being wrestled Jones continued to kick out. A burst of capsicum spray to his face failed to subdue him.

Police also had to knee him and use a baton when he lay on his hands so they could not handcuff him. Jones also attempted to bite one officer on the leg.

In evidence before Magistrate Michael Dakin, Jones’ mother revealed her son was acting strangely at his Queensland home just days before his naked highway antics, fighting with his father and a church pastor.

The night before his offences, Mrs Jones said the family heard a crash and found Jonathon had gone through a window and run off. He was on his way to his grandparents at Tamworth when arrested.

Legal Aid lawyer Hugh van Dugteren unsuccessfully applied for the matter be dealt with under mental health provisions, saying his client had been suffering some form of mental illness at the time.

Mr Dakin refused the application after no conclusive medical evidence was provided. It was revealed a medical report from a psychiatrist who treated Jones for five days after his Northern Rivers escapade could not find evidence of a mental health problem. Jones will be sentenced on December 18.

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