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Corrections officer arrested after assault of bank employee in Grover Beach

The corrections officer was upset over Wells Fargo's indoor mask requirement, the victim says.
Posted at 4:47 PM, Sep 14, 2021

A corrections officer employed by the California Men's Colony was arrested Tuesday on battery and hate crime charges.

James Allen Jones, Jr. was arrested by Grover Beach Police Officers on Sept. 14 and booked in the San Luis Obispo County Jail on felony charges.

Police say on Friday, Sept. 3, a Wells Fargo Employee was injured in a fight that happened in the bank's parking lot.

Police responded around 5:45 to the location at 1580 W. Grand Ave., in Grover Beach. They determined that assault and battery had occurred.

The suspect ran away from the area. Police searched the area but were unable to locate him. He left behind some articles of clothing that officers collected as evidence.

The victim refused medical treatment at the scene. The victim indicated to officers that the suspect started the fight after becoming angry by Wells Fargo's indoor mask requirement, which is consistent with the county-wide indoor mask mandate.

The reporting officer on the incident spoke with the victim over the phone the following day. The victim said that the suspect made derogatory statements about the victim's ethnicity, and the officer added a hate crime charge to the report.

Police say that over the next 10 days, officers and detectives gathered evidence from witnesses, bank employees, nearby businesses, video recordings and medical reports.

Detectives identified the suspect and obtained an arrest warrant from the San Luis Obispo County District Attorney's Office. They also got search warrants for his home and property.

They arrested Jones at the California Men's Colony on charges of felony hate crime, felony criminal threats and felony battery with serious bodily injury.

He was booked into San Luis Obispo County Jail on a bond of $50,000.

The police department says they waited to release the details of the initial incident because of sensitivities involved with hate crimes and the lengthy process involved in identifying Jones.

Per updates to the police department's policy, they will not be releasing a booking photo of Jones.