Lampasas County Sheriff's deputy

A screen shot from dash-cam video released by the Lampasas County Sheriff's Department on Wednesday, June 7, 2017. Former Lampasas deputy Logan Jones (second from left) is seen holding the arms of Quinton Elderidge Cruce, 18, of Copperas Cove, just before using a chokehold to take the Cove High School graduate to the ground.

Screen shot

No criminal charges will be filed against a former Lampasas County sheriff’s deputy seen in a May video punching a man after a traffic stop.

A Texas Rangers investigation into former Deputy Logan Jones began after the May 25 traffic stop in Lampasas involving Quinton Elderidge Cruce, 18, of Copperas Cove, and Gage Neely Blackwell, also 18, of Lampasas.

The investigation is still technically open because the paperwork isn’t finished, but the work itself is done, said Sgt. David Roberts, spokesman for the Rangers and the Texas Department of Public Safety, who was briefed by the investigator.

“Per the Ranger ... No criminal charges are being filed as a result of the investigation,” Roberts said in an email. “Whatever policies the Lampasas Sheriff’s Office has in place in reference to use of force should be addressed by them.”

The Herald reached out to the sheriff’s department and asked whether a separate internal investigation will review use-of-force policies as they relate to this case. No response was received by press time.

Jones was still on paid administrative leave when he resigned Aug. 18, the sheriff’s department has said.

Fonda Rhoades, the sheriff’s records and property specialist, said Tuesday the department is waiting for the findings of the Texas Rangers investigation.

Video of the traffic stop was released to the Herald through an open records request in June. It showed the deputy wrapping his right arm around Cruce’s neck, bringing him to the ground, striking Cruce in the head, followed by at least eight successive hits.

In a sworn statement, Jones said Cruce had struck him with an elbow and kicked him several times during the arrest and said it was only then that Jones used forced to gain control.

Blackwell is accused of striking the lip of Lampasas police Officer Joshua Watson, who also responded.

Both Cruce and Blackwell are free on bond.

A backlog in lab test processing in Austin was previously cited by Lampasas County District Attorney John Greenwood for delays in the case.

asierra@kdhnews.com | 254-501-7463

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