NEWORLEANS- The 15-year New Orleans police veteran who resigned Friday after an arrest for falsifying a police report was arrested months ago and is currently under investigation for similar hit-and-run incidents.
Within the last year, Roger J. Jones, a NOPD Quality of Life Officer in the 8th District, has been involved in four separate car crashes, and allegedly tried to cover his tracks in three of them. Months ago, he was cited for not having insurance. Jones, 38, was on desk duty last week at the time of the latest hit-and-run, according to police.
His attorney declined to comment. The NOPD did not immediately respond to a request for comment Monday afternoon.
Records show that Jones was cited on Sept. 19, 2011 for hit and run and failing to maintain control of an NOPD cruiser in Jefferson Parish.
He pleaded not guilty and is scheduled to go to trial Wednesday, records show.
In that incident, a Louisiana State Police trooper went to Jones' home in Jefferson and spotted a damaged police cruiser. The trooper noted Jones had bloodshot eyes and a 'moderate odor' of alcohol on his breath, according to a police report. Jones allegedly told the trooper he struck a curb, but the trooper went to the location where Jones it happened, only to find no such evidence.
That same day, investigators received a report of a different hit-and-run that occurred earlier in the morning in New Orleans. An NOPD cruiser reportedly struck a red vehicle in the Lower Garden District and drove off. Jones' cruiser had red paint streaks on it, the report states.
The NOPD opened its own internal probe into that case and arrested Jones in February, placing him on 'emergency suspension.'
Next, on May 2, Jones was cited for improper lane changing and failing to have insurance in Jefferson Parish. While driving a Chevrolet Suburban, he allegedly sideswiped a car near the intersection of Destrehan Avenue and the Westbank Expressway.
A police report lists Jones address as 334 Royal Street, the home of the NOPD's 8th District Station, where he works. It also lists the station's phone number.
That case is set to go to trial next month.
The most recent incident occurred last week. Jones reported his personal car stolen Thursday morning, according to an NOPD news release. Jones allegedly told investigators he parked it near the corner of North Rampart and Toulouse Streets in the 8th District, and found it later in the 1st District with severe damage. A responding officer in the 1st District picked up on inconsistencies in Jones story and notified the internal affairs unit, police said.
Soon, internal affairs investigators obtained evidence that proved Jones was lying, according to the news release. When approached to give a statement, Jones confessed to committing a hit-and-run, stashing his damaged vehicle, then filing a false police report. He resigned on the spot and was arrested and booked, police said.
The NOPD's news release did not detail Jones earlier alleged transgressions, but did include a strong message from Superintendent Ronal Serpas.
'Someone who confesses to breaking the law, and then trying to cover it up, is someone who does not have a place on today's New Orleans Police force,' Serpas said.
'We take the departmental oath very seriously, and Jones' behavior clearly violated our code of ethics. Our officers who are dedicated to serving the people of New Orleans recognize the honor and dignity that come with the uniform. Dishonesty on this police force will not be tolerated,' Serpas said.
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