UT Martin employee arrested, charged with assault
MARTIN, Tenn. — Narrated by singing birds, classes were wrapping up, not just for the day but for the semester. It was Friday and things were about to drastically change.
"I didn't see her," said Thommy McGlown. "I was just caught off guard."
McGlown said he was on the way back to his office at Clement Hall when he came face to face with Rhonda Jones.
Jones, 48, is a teaching assistant, a co-worker McGlown said he barely knew.
"She is the ex-wife of one of my fraternity brothers. We have no relationship whatsoever."
But he said she was mad about something. He said she pushed a .22 pistol into his ribcage and made a haunting promise.
"She said, 'If you keep doing your sh**, I'm gonna to mess you up.' She jammed me with the gun three or four times."
McGlown said he had no idea what Jones meant and said he did not have time to ask her. He said Jones simply tucked the gun away and walked off. That was when he rushed inside Clement Hall to call for help.
"The heroes in this were the ones that sounded the alarm," Captain Ray Coleman with the University Police said, crediting the staff members at Clement hall who immediately called for help.
"From the time we received the call to the time the threat was neutralized was four minutes," he said of his three-member team, who diffused the situation and arrested Jones.
It was the minutes before that Tommy McGlown said he is grateful for.
"By the grace of God, calmness came over me. I thank God. It's thru his mercy, that's why I'm here."
Jones was a research associate in the university's Student Success Center. But the school said she has been an adjunct professor in the past.
Jones is on administrative leave with pay until the investigation wraps up. She has been charged with aggravated assault and illegal possession of a firearm on state property.
She is due in court Wednesday.