published Monday, May 21st, 2012

Punch thrown at Jasper, Tenn., barbecue restaurant knocks sheriff from chair

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    Jasper, Tenn., resident Jasper Jones, 65, was booked into the Marion County Jail Monday, May 21, after allegedly punching county building official Roy Brackett about 1:30 p.m. at McElroy’s barbecue on U.S. Highway 41 in Jasper. Jones was charged with two counts of assault and one count of vandalism.

Three Marion County officials’ barbecue lunch ended with a surprise punch to the face this afternoon.

Jasper, Tenn., resident Jasper Jones, 65, was booked into the Marion County Jail after allegedly punching county building official Roy Brackett at about 1:30 p.m. at McElroy’s barbecue on Highway 41 in Jasper. Also at the table were county Sheriff Ronnie “Bo” Burnett and General Sessions Judge Mark Raines.

“He’s got a pretty good abrasion below his left eye,” Burnett said of Brackett’s injury.

“I did fall backward and hit the floor,” the sheriff said, explaining that his legs got tangled in his chair. “The man never did attack me.”

Brackett and Burnett were treated at Grandview Medical Center for minor injuries.

The sheriff called the attack a “complete surprise,” and said he didn’t know why Jones punched Brackett.

“We’ve all known him all our lives,” Burnett said. “He didn’t act mad.”

Jones left the restaurant in his vehicle and turned himself in later ths afternoon. The Jasper Police Department will investigate because he is involved, Burnett said. Police couldn’t be reached for comment.

Jones was charged with two counts of assault and one count of vandalism, Burnett said.

“Some furniture at the restaurant got tore up,” he said, explaining the vandalism charge.

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