SAN DIEGO (CNS) - A man who attacked a group of people with a machete after he was thrown out of a Normal Heights bar was sentenced Wednesday to four years in state prison.
Rodney Jamal Jones, 30, pleaded guilty last month to assault with a deadly weapon.
John Hull, a probation officer with training in defensive tactics, suffered a gash on the palm of one of his hands during the attack. He told Judge Eugenia Eyherabide the situation could have been a lot worse.
"Someone could have ended up dead," Hull said.
According to police, Jones began quarreling with Hull, his girlfriend and their male friend at the Triple Crown Pub on Adams Avenue about 1 a.m. last Oct. 21.
The argument began after Jones stared at the 23-year-old woman, followed her to a restroom, blocked her way and grabbed her thigh as she was returning to her companions, then sat next to her and refused her request to leave her alone, said Lt. Andra Brown, a San Diego Police Department spokeswoman.
As the confrontation escalated, a bouncer intervened, questioned the bickering patrons and ejected Jones, she said.
About 20 minutes later, the couple and their friend left the tavern and walked to a residential complex in the 4600 block of Bancroft Street, about a block to the south.
As they arrived, Jones suddenly appeared and charged them, swinging a machete. Hull grabbed the blade of the weapon, and he and his friend tackled Jones and held him down until police arrived, Brown said.
The defendant was treated at a hospital for minor injuries he suffered in the scuffle, which Deputy District Attorney Chandelle Konstanzer said was "completely unprovoked."
Eyherabide said the four-year prison term was warranted because of the defendant's violent criminal past, which includes a 1999 assault conviction for breaking a person's jaw and being a felon in possession of a loaded firearm in 2008.
Jones said he was taking a class in non-conflict resolution at the time of the incident and would have been better served if he had put what he learned into use.
"I'm not a bad person," the defendant said.
Jones was on probation for possession and transportation of cocaine at the time of the machete attack.
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