by April Scheinoha
A Ponemah man has been charged in Pennington County District Court for allegedly pointing a sawed-off shotgun at two people early Wednesday morning in Thief River Falls.
Randall Dean Jones, 27, has been charged with two felony counts of second degree assault. He was arrested and scheduled to make his first court appearance Thursday afternoon.
The charges stemmed from a report of a fight in a hallway at 118-1/2 Third St. E. at about 12:34 a.m. Wednesday, according to the complaint. A sheriff’s deputy and an officer arrived to find a man frantically waving at them. He said a man, later identified as Jones, was waving a gun upstairs.
Law enforcement soon encountered a shirtless Jones, who had a cut on the top of his forehead. Blood was running down his face. At gunpoint, they ordered him to drop to his knees. Eventually, he compiled by lying on his stomach and he was handcuffed. Jones allegedly said people inside the apartment had the gun. However, an officer moved a sweatshirt in the hallway and found a sawed-off shotgun. An officer had to hold the hammer of the shotgun in order to release it. He found that it was unloaded.
Jones allegedly said he never possessed the gun and another man had hit him on the head with it. Police never found the second man, and an alleged victim said he wasn’t even there. Witnesses said Jones had the gun the entire time. An alleged victim said Jones, in a rage, had hit his own head on a wall. Prior to being booked at the Pennington County Jail, Jones was evaluated for his head injury at Sanford Medical Center.
A woman told law enforcement that she and Jones had gone to buy some liquor. She said he drank some of it. She, another woman, Jones and three minor children were in Apartment 15. After the other woman left, Jones allegedly called the woman names, including an expletive, and swore at her in the hallway. The woman told her sons to go back into the apartment, shut the door and lock it. She tried to calm Jones down and said she was going to call law enforcement. At that time, he dropped a sawed-off shotgun out of his shorts. It fell to the floor and he pointed the shotgun at the woman several times.
Hearing the commotion outside, a neighbor went into the hallway, where he saw Jones and the woman arguing. The man, who later waved down law enforcement, said Jones was screaming and banging on the apartment door. Jones, who had already suffered the head injury, allegedly approached the man, said he had something for the man and brandished the shotgun. The man left, but Jones continued yelling. He allegedly questioned whether anyone had a problem with him and said he wouldn’t be afraid to pull the trigger. The man didn’t know Jones.
The complaint indicated that Jones had been convicted of aggravated assault in January in Cass County, N.D.