TRENTON, N.J. (AP) - A police official in a New Jersey town where a disqualified “American Idol” contestant is the target of two arrest warrants said Thursday the case wasn’t big enough to merit going after him in California.
Jermaine Jones of Pine Hill, N.J., was kicked off the TV show this week for not revealing he had outstanding warrants. The show’s producers say they learned of four warrants as they confronted him about it during a taped segment later aired on television.
Police in Gloucester Township confirmed Thursday that Jones was arrested twice in the past year. They said he gave police a false name. He failed to appear in court, and two warrants were issued.
Police Lt. Christopher Jones said the case “wasn’t big enough” to merit going after the singer in California.
Gloucester police said Jones gave them the wrong name in March 2011 after they responded to a fight at a Howard Johnson Express Inn. They said he again gave them a false name in November after a car he was riding in was pulled over.
In 2009, Jones was cited in Winslow Township. Police said he was driving with a suspended license and gave police a fake name. He didn’t show up for his court date and a warrant was issued.
A fourth warrant could not be confirmed Thursday; police in Winslow would not comment on the 2009 warrant.
The singer did not immediately respond to calls to his home.
Not everyone was thrilled with the producers’ treatment of Jones.
Camden County Freeholder Jeffery L. Nash said there was no excuse for breaking the law, but he thought the show could have handled the incident better.
“For the producers of the billion-dollar show to expose, embarrass and interrogate a young man without an attorney in front of 40 million viewers was an outrage,” Nash said. “In the future, they should do background checks before they start counting their money and playing Judge Judy.”
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