Former Dolphin Reshad Jones may have been arrested illegally after car ran out of gas, his lawyer says

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Miami Dolphins safety Reshad Jones on the field before his team's game against the Cincinnati Bengals at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens on Dec. 22, 2019. - John McCall/South Florida Sun Sentinel/TNS

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. — Former Miami Dolphins safety Reshad Jones may have been arrested illegally this week when police saw him crossing the street with a loaded gun near a Davie gas station, his lawyer told the South Florida Sun Sentinel on Thursday.

Attorney Michael A. Gottlieb, of Fort Lauderdale, believes recent case law may clear his client Jones, a 10-year former standout safety for the Dolphins who was arrested Wednesday morning after 4 a.m. and charged with carrying a concealed weapon without a permit.

Gottlieb cites a May 2020 ruling by The Fourth District Court of Appeal that states “unless the officer had reasonable belief that some crime had been committed, was being committed, or was about to be committed, stopping someone solely based on possession of a firearm was a violation of the Fourth Amendment,” which protects against improper searches and seizures.

“For them to arrest him in the absence of a crime is ridiculous,” Gottlieb said. “We’re obviously looking for the charge to be dismissed.”

Gottlieb says Jones — who told police he does not have a gun permit — was on his way home from a night out, ran out of gas and did not want to leave his gun in his Lamborghini.

According to the arrest report, Jones was seen with a gun in his hand, walking around gas station parking lots at the intersection of Griffin Road and State Road 7 before police arrived.

Davie police officer Clint Burns said Jones was walking across the street when they saw him, and Burns noticed a handgun sticking out of his right front pants pocket.

The report stated Jones was difficult with authorities, unable to provide a concealed weapons permit and appeared under the influence of an unknown substance with a heavy odor of alcohol. Because Jones was not seen driving his car, a breathalyzer test was not administered to determine his blood-alcohol level.

Jones was arrested around 4:45 a.m. and taken to Broward County Main Jail where he posted his $1,000 bond and was released Wednesday afternoon.

“He had been out for the night. I don’t think he was under the influence of drugs. He’s not a drug user,” Gottlieb said of Jones.

“He was on his way home. He lives in Plantation and he was in the city of Davie. The car ran out of gas. I’m sure he was pushing it to get home on fumes, and the car ran out of gas. So, he was walking to the gas station.”

Bob Jarvis, a longtime law professor at Nova Southeastern University, argues the case law being referenced by Gottlieb may not hold up in Jones’ defense.

Jarvis said because Jones appeared intoxicated in public or loitering near the gas stations, police had reasonable cause to confront Jones.

“The police had every reason — when they saw the gun sticking out of his pocket, given the context of the circumstances — to say, ‘What’s going on here?’ ” Jarvis said.

Jones, a two-time Pro Bowl safety with Miami, was released by the team in March.

Gottlieb considered Jones’ arrest an “unfortunate misunderstanding.”

“He’s not out of money. He’s not out on his luck. He was out for the night. His car ran out of gas,” Gottlieb said of Jones. “He’s a law-abiding individual. I feel badly for him because this doesn’t represent who he is.”


©2020 Sun Sentinel (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.)