A High Falls man was sentenced to five years in prison on Tuesday for attacking a Monroe County deputy while wielding a machete on High Falls Road on June 20, 2018.
Monroe County Superior Court Judge Bill Fears sentenced Jarrod Douglas Williams, 31, to five years in prison with no chance of probation or parole after a jury convicted him of obstruction following four hours of deliberation. Williams will get credit for the year he’s served in jail since the incident.
Monroe County Cpt. Jeff Thompson, who was driving an unmarked vehicle that day, responded to High Falls after a 9-1-1 caller reported a suspicious man, later identified as Williams, carrying a machete headed in the direction of High Falls State Park.
Thompson, who was dressed in full deputy uniform at the time of the incident, testified that he displayed his badge and identified himself to Williams. Prosecutor Carolee Jordan argued that shortly thereafter Williams pulled out from under his shirt a long serrated, bladed object with a brown handle, later determined to be a machete. According to the prosecution, Thompson ordered Williams to drop the machete, but Williams instead replied, “F--- you. I don’t have to.”
After Thompson drew his gun, Williams then dropped the machete but prosecutors said the two men tussled on the ground leaving Thompson with a gash on his right forearm. According to the report, Williams threw two punches at Thompson before Thompson kicked Williams’ feet out from under him and hit him with his fist about a dozen times to Williams’ head and body when Williams continued to resist.
Williams, who served as his own attorney, told jurors he was just walking down the road headed to the store. He said he has carried a machete almost daily for the past five years for protection against animals like dogs, snakes and bobcats.
Williams said he was approached by Thompson from behind and was startled, not realizing it was a deputy. He said even after Thompson told him he was a deputy, he still wasn’t convinced. Williams said Thompson already had him on the ground and was pointing his gun at him before Williams fully understood that Thompson was a law enforcement officer.
Williams, who admitted to cursing repeatedly at Thompson, said the deputy wouldn’t tell him what he did wrong even after he dropped his machete.
Williams said, “I didn’t know what to do. . . The only thing I tried to do was cuss.”
Williams, who said the dispute lasted a total of 25 seconds, said the whole misunderstanding wouldn’t have occurred if Thompson had approached him more courteously.
He said, “I was an innocent civilian walking down the road.”
Williams, who was issued a $1 million bond, had been in jail since his arrest.