ShareThis Page
News

Export X Games athlete 'Mad Mike' arrested in Miami

| Wednesday, March 24, 2010

A motocross racing legend from Export allegedly went berserk in a Florida airport Monday, attacking a repairman and a police officer before he eventually was subdued by as many as five law enforcement agents who used a Taser gun.

Michael John Jones, 43, of 286 Story Road — a 2001 Winter X Games champion known as "Mad Mike" — was charged with battery, assault and resisting arrest with violence in connection with the incident around 2:30 a.m. on Concourse H at the Miami International Airport. Jones was ordered held on $12,500 bond.

Police said Tuesday that Jones, who sports a Mohawk haircut and has "Mad Mike" tattooed on his fingers, was on a layover at the airport when the attack occurred.

"We don't know why he did it," said Detective Aida Fina-Milian, Miami-Dade police department spokeswoman.

During Jones' appearance at a bond hearing, reported by WFOR-TV in South Florida, his wife, Christine, said he is bipolar — a mental disorder that can cause severe mood swings when left untreated.

She said her husband was returning home after a trip to Costa Rica. She said a friend whom Jones visited in Costa Rica called her and said he was worried about her husband's behavior, the TV station reported.

Attempts to speak with Christine Jones yesterday were unsuccessful.

According to the police report, Jones shoved a luggage cart at two men working on a water and sewer panel at the airport. It missed them, but he then punched one of them, Medardo Recarte, 36, several times in the face while threatening the other worker, James Barlo, 69, authorities said.

A police officer arrived and ordered Jones to the ground. Jones rushed the officer, who tried unsuccessfully to shock him with a stun gun, police said. Jones then punched the officer, who eventually restrained him with the help of other officers, authorities said.

WFOR-TV reported that Jones was shocked with a stun gun several times before being subdued.

Jones' booking photo shows he has a cut under his right eye.

A relative who lives near Jones on the Steel City Raceway property in Delmont declined comment.

Tim Cotter, director of MXS Sports, which produces events for the raceway, said the arrest shocked him. Jones, a freestyle racer, last participated in an event at the raceway about two years ago.

"I think it's really unfortunate," Cotter said. "The Mike Jones I know, that's totally out of character for him. It's a real shock. I don't know what would cause someone to do that."

In a 2006 Tribune-Review story, Jones recounted having 11 operations. He said he suffered a punctured lung and a broken back in racing accidents and needed "probably 300 stitches."

"I love dirt-bike racing," Jones said. "It's what keeps me going. Whenever I get up in the morning, it's what I want to do. I make a decent living and am still having fun, so I'm going to do it as long as I can."

Cotter, who described himself as a business friend, was with Jones about two weeks ago for Bike Week in Daytona.

"He seemed to be in real good spirits," Cotter said. "He was Mike. Everything was very good."

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.

click me