Marine Corps Corporal, Navy Police Officer Charged with Battery

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ST. MARYS -- A Marine Corps corporal and a Navy military policeman from Naval Submarine Base Kings Bay have been jailed for their alleged roles in a July 3 altercation outside a bar in Fernandina Beach, Fla.

Corp. Giovanni Anthony Cruz and officer Robert Jones were booked into the Nassau County Jail around 2 p.m. Wednesday. A bond hearing has been scheduled Thursday for the two men. Their bond has been set at $25,002, according to the warrants.

An official with the Florida State Attorney's Office said the charge is a first-degree misdemeanor, punishable by up to a year in jail.

A misdemeanor battery warrant has also been issued for a third suspect, Kings Bay military policeman, Dayvion Young, but the Navy has temporarily delayed serving the warrant, said Capt. David Bishop, an officer with the Fernandina Beach Police Department.

The men were notified of the warrants by Naval Criminal Investigative Service officials at Kings Bay. They were held by Camden County authorities until they were extradited to Florida.

The men are accused of attacking Allen Michael Cooper, 26, of Fernandina Beach after an argument in front of a bar. Cooper, who has a learning disability, was found dazed and incoherent, unable to answer investigators' questions, police said.

He was bleeding from his mouth and ears when they arrived at the scene, according to reports. Cooper was transported to a local hospital, where he was treated for non-life threatening injuries including bruises, swelling and cuts.

During the alleged altercation, police said a woman who yelled to stop the fight was struck by one of the men, according to the report. The men fled from the scene in a black, four-door sedan, according to multiple witnesses.

Young, the driver of the vehicle and designated driver for the group, denied being involved in any type of altercation when questioned. He told officers that he and Jones were law enforcement officers at Kings Bay.

An alcohol breath test later indicated Young had a .11 alcohol count, over the legal limit in Florida.

A fourth companion, a Marine Corps corporal, was not charged in the incident.

The men were not arrested at the time of the incident because the victim's injuries were undetermined and they were not considered a flight risk because of their jobs at Kings Bay.

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