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Utah man spits on officer then offers bribe to be released, charges say

SHARE Utah man spits on officer then offers bribe to be released, charges say

Armando Ray Jones

Salt Lake County Jail

COTTONWOOD HEIGHTS — A man who police say tried to avoid going to jail now faces a number of charges accusing him of attempting to bribe an officer, threatening the officer’s family and spitting on the officer while claiming he had COVID-19.

Armando Ray Jones, 43, of Cottonwood Heights, was charged Friday in 3rd District Court with bribery, a second-degree felony, and nine other charges.

On May 10, Jones was pulled over for driving recklessly near 7200 South and Ponderosa Drive. The officer noticed Jones attempting to take a drink of an alcoholic beverage as the officer walked up to him, according to charging documents.

Jones was combative with officers during his arrest, refused to get out of the car, had slurred speech and needed help walking once officers got him out of the vehicle, the charges state.

He was later determined to have a blood alcohol content of 0.29%, or nearly six times the legal limit, according to court documents.

Police said that while being interviewed at the police station, Jones claimed to have COVID-19 so a mask was placed over his face. After spitting all over the mask and requesting it be reset, he spit on an officer on the side of his face as the officer attempted to help him, the charges say.

After spitting on the officer, Jones offered the officer $1,000 to let him go, “no questions asked,” the charges state. After the officer refused, Jones then allegedly threatened two officers and their families “stating he would follow them and that they and their children’s lives would be in danger.”

Jones is an alcohol restricted driver, being convicted of felony DUI in 2010 and misdemeanor DUI in 2007, 2006 and 1997.

In addition to bribery, Jones was charged Friday with DUI and propelling a bodily substance at officers, third-degree felonies; two counts of assault on a police officer, a class A misdemeanor; being an alcohol restricted driver and interfering with an arrest, class B misdemeanors; having an open container in a vehicle, a class C misdemeanor; and two traffic infractions.