Jacksonville Sheriff John Rutherford’s brother was in Duval County jail Thursday, after his Jan. 12 arrest on domestic-violence and child-abuse charges, court records show.
Bail for Hubert C. Rutherford, 49, was set at $80,000 and he awaits a Feb. 4 court date.
The court records show that Hubert Rutherford was arrested at his home on Mother Goose Road, after police talked to a 15-year-old female who had a red, hand-shaped mark across her face and scratches. The report quotes the girl as saying Rutherford had come home drunk, encountered the 15-year-old with her 18-year-old boyfriend and a stray dog, argued over the dog and became violent.
The teens, described in the court records as victims, told police of a fist fight that also involved Rutherford’s live-in girlfriend, Kari Jean Reynolds, 48, who also was arrested.
The teens told officers that when they left the home, Rutherford chased after them, swinging something described variously as a broomstick or a golf club.
The records say Rutherford had blood around his mouth and nose after the confrontation and Reynolds also suffered wounds. The records describe Rutherford as “very intoxicated” and said he “was belligerent and continually yelled profanities.” It said he declined to talk with police before being arrested.
Reynolds was too intoxicated to describe the sequence of events, police said, but after police arrived she twice threatened to kill the girl.
Rutherford was charged with felony domestic battery, child abuse, aggravated assault, and misdemeanor battery.
Reynolds also was arrested on charges of child abuse and misdemeanor battery. She was released from jail Jan. 16.
The 15-year-old was released into the custody of her mother, records show.
Sheriff Rutherford told the Times-Union Thursday that police contacted him after the arrest to make him aware of the incident and he wasn’t asked, and didn’t attempt, to get involved.
“They alerted me that he had been arrested and I said to handle him like anybody else,” Rutherford said. “They thought I would need to know that they were following protocol. He’s being dealt with like anybody else. They put him in jail and he’s going through the process like anybody else.”
Lindsay Van-Zant, development specialist with Hubbard House, a Jacksonville woman’s shelter for domestic violence victims, said no one at the agency could talk about the pending case against Hubert Rutherford. Sheriff Rutherford has been recognized repeatedly for his support of Hubbard House and other causes for victims of domestic violence.
“Whenever police are called, they are the ones who make the judgment call,” Van-Zant said about arrest in domestic-violence incidents. “They are trained to make that assessment.”
Sheriff Rutherford acknowledged that it wasn’t his brother’s first arrest, but declined to elaborate or talk further about his brother.
Court and police records show that Hubert Rutherford was charged in 2011 with driving with a suspended driver’s license, for which he pleaded no contest and received a fine. Court records show he still owes money in the case and a collection agency has been contacted.
Records also show that Hubert Rutherford pled no contest in 2009 to a domestic-violence charge involving allegations that he and a woman at the Mother Goose Road address were involved in a fight that led police to arrest both people. He pleaded no contest to fighting and received a fine.
Hubert Rutherford was convicted in 1995 of boating while under the influence and resisting police without violence, for which he was ordered to DUI classes, records show. He also had a handful of criminal-traffic charges, including fleeing and attempting to elude police and DUI, dating to 1984, records show.
Jim Schoettler: (904) 359-4385