Delegate steps up during altercation

Published 10:56 pm Thursday, March 1, 2018

A state delegate had an unexpected breakfast interruption in Richmond last Friday before heading back to tending to state business in the General Assembly.

“I was having breakfast when I heard a woman screaming at the top of her lungs, and I ran downstairs to see what was going on,” said Chris Jones, a Republican who represents part of Suffolk. “My wife and I knew something was terribly wrong. There was a gentleman yelling and threatening a lady sitting on a bench.”

The women’s appearance suggested she was homeless. When Jones got downstairs, he was the first on the scene.

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The man had thrown hot chocolate in her face, and Jones stepped in between the two to stop the man from harming her. As Jones attempted to return to the building an altercation occurred. Jones and the man struggled, grasping each other by the throat.

Jones and the man held each other by the throat before he had the chance to call the police, but a family living in the same building had called 911 when they heard the initial screams.

Tim Glass, a 50-year-old phlebotomist living in the same building, was able to startle the assailant with a yell, and Jones and the man released their holds on one another.

Not long after the altercation, Jones resumed the day as if nothing had happened.

“I changed my shirt, went down to my office and went to work,” Jones said.

Jones managed to keep a cool head during the altercation and believes that he wasn’t doing anything heroic.

“I think most people would have done what I did,” Jones said. “I felt very sorry for her. No one deserves to be treated like that.”

Jones attributes his actions to how he was raised, where he grew up and most importantly his faith.

“I think it comes from my training as a volunteer firefighter and growing up learning instinctively what needed to be done in those situations,” Jones said. “I’m just thankful she wasn’t seriously hurt and that it all ended well.”

If anyone were to find themselves in the same situation, Jones’ advice would be to keep things in perspective.

“It’s important to be mindful of your surroundings, and certainly I was fortunate because we had a struggle,” Jones said. “It’s also making sure, to the best of your ability, that you’ve got the situation as controlled as possible.”