SANFORD, Fla. - A 16-year-old teenager who was confronted by two men after allegedly speeding through a Sanford neighborhood on his way to visit a friend in June said he hasn't been back to the neighborhood – and does not have immediate plans to return.
"My friend that lives in that neighborhood, I’ve known him for years. I’ve been there for years," Jermaine Jones told reporters Thursday morning during a press conference, alongside his mom and attorneys, Greg Francis and Kevin Edwards.
"I haven’t gone back since because I don’t feel safe going back into that neighborhood, and I don’t know if I’ll be going back there anytime soon," he said.
On June 16, Jones was driving through a gated community in Sanford to visit a friend. He had a passenger with him. He admitted to likely driving too fast, when he was confronted by two men who allegedly stopped him with a traffic home and began yelling and berating him.
He called 911 when one of the two men threw a rock at his back windshield, shattering it, and began recording the interaction, which went viral.
"Burning out racing through my [expletive] neighborhood," one of the man scolds Jones, according to the video.
"I was driving a little bit, like, I wasn’t supposed to be driving like that. A guy started, a guy ran in front of the road, hit my car with a cone, threw a rock through my front windshield and I knew something happened," Jones told the 911 dispatcher.
Both men – Howard Hughes, 61, and Donald Corsi, 52, were arrested and booked into jail. Hughes was booked on property damage and battery. Coris was booked on criminal mischief and throwing a weapon into a vehicle. An arraignment is scheduled for August 16.
Attorneys for Hughes and Corsi have not commented on the case.
Attorneys representing Jones said Thursday that they want more severe charges filed against the two men "given the gravity of the situation", and compared the case to that of Ahmaud Arbery, a black Georgia man who was chased and killed by three white men, who were later convicted in his murder.
"There was a brandishing of a gun at the scene of the incident by a third individual who was not arrested and we were able to bring that up to the State Attorney’s Office today," said Edwards, who is representing Jones' family. The attorneys also announced plans to file a civil suit.
Jones' mom, Niko, said she was "disgusted" and "saddened" by the situation, especially because she was unable to be there to protect her son.
"I am really disgusted about the whole situation. These were adults who accosted a 16-year-old child. And if you listen to the 911 tape, he's the one who was deescalating the situation, he's the one who acted as the adult in the situation, and it just saddens me – it makes be very sad – that this could happen in this day and time," she said.
"As a parent, our job is to protect our children and the fact that I wasn't there to protect him is very upsetting," an emotional Niko Jones said, "I'm just glad that things turned out OK."