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Woman sues Clinton County sheriff's deputy claiming false arrest, seeks more than $1.5 million in damages

Clinton County Sheriff's Office
Police
Posted at 2:01 PM, May 26, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-26 18:17:05-04

CLINTON COUNTY, Mich. — A Clinton County woman is suing a Clinton County sheriff’s deputy claiming she was falsely arrested and maliciously prosecuted after her son was in a car accident in 2019.

Ronda Rae Jones filed a lawsuit against Deputy Steven Naert in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Michigan earlier this month seeking more than $1.5 million in damages.

Jones said in her complaint that her teenage son swerved to miss a dog and crashed her car near the entrance to Gloria Miller Looking Glass Valley Park in Watertown Township on the afternoon of Dec. 3, 2019. He walked the half mile to their house to tell her and she sent him back with a cell phone to call a tow truck and wait for police.

Naert was dispatched to the crash site and later went to Jones's house, where she explained that her son had crashed the car, the complaint says.

“By that time," the complaint says, "Naert had already determined without evidence or reasonable proof that Jones had been the driver, not her son."

Their interaction turned contentious, the complaint says. Jones told Naert to get “the hell out of her house.”

Jones went to check on her son. Naert told her, “Do not go walking on the road or you’ll be arrested for disorderly conduct!” the complaint says, and subsequently grabbed her, pushed her onto the hood of his police car and later forced her to the ground, telling her repeatedly that she was drunk.

Jones was charged with being drunk and disorderly, despite not getting a breathalyzer or blood test, and with resisting and obstruction, the complaint says, but was acquitted of those charges at trial.

Now there were two sheriff’s deputies involved in the arrest and Jones’s lawyer David Zuppke says they only sued the officer responsible for the physical violence to Jones.

Lieutenant Jeffrey Clarke with the Clinton County Sheriff’s Office said the department would not comment on an ongoing case.

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2:27 PM, Jan 20, 2021

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