Francis charged with violating an order of protection

It has been a years-long struggle for Knox resident Jonathon Francis, son of Pastor Jay Francis, who presides over the Rock Road Chapel.

Jonathon Francis, 45, was arrested, not for the first time, on April 2, at Altamont Oaks apartment complex. He was charged with aggravated contempt — violating an order of protection — a felony, and fourth-degree criminal mischief, third-degree assault, and resisting arrest, all misdemeanors.

The arrest followed a domestic dispute with his estranged wife, according to a report from the Altamont Police.

The report describes him as “legally married” and “not in the labor force.”

“Jon’s life is still a work in progress,” said Pastor Francis this week. “He is a better man than his behavior indicates.”

Francis, a lawyer who made an unsuccessful run for Knox Town Judge in 2003, and was disbarred in 2007, has been in trouble with the law in the past.

The first time was in 1991, when he falsely reported an incident by calling the secretary at the Berne-Knox-Westerlo school and stating he had shot himself, when he hadn’t.

He was arrested twice in 2006 for assaulting his wife.

In 2007, shortly after being disbarred, he called a suicide hotline and threatened to kill himself and any police officers who arrived with their lights on.

In 2010, he was arrested for burglary and criminal contempt, after breaking into the home of his estranged wife.

Between 2008 and 2010, he had seemingly been on a road to recovery, after spending a few months in jail and attending a drug and alcohol rehabilitation program, said his father.

He had again seemed to be getting his life back on track between the arrest in 2010 and the arrest this month, said the pastor this week.

“It has been an uphill battle for him,” said Pastor Francis. “Drugs take a toll on anyone.”

Altamont Police officers were called to respond to a fight at the Altamont Oaks apartment complex, where they found Francis outside, acting “hostile and agitated,” according to the police report; he calmed down then and sat in a chair outside an apartment.

The victim came out of her apartment with a bloody mouth, crying, and told the police that Francis had hit her, the report said.

Officers attempted to take Francis into custody, and he began to fight with all three of them, the report said.

A taser was deployed, hitting Francis on the right wrist and above his right pectoral muscle; the right chest prong fell out during the struggle, according to Christopher Laurenzo, the arresting officer.

Francis was placed in handcuffs, and a witness told the officers that he had taken a whole bottle of pills, the report said; an officer located an empty Xanax bottle that had contained 42 pills and been filled the previous day.

Francis was transported to Albany Medical Center by the Altamont Rescue Squad, the report said.

Pastor Francis said his son is being held at Albany County’s jail.

“I don’t know how long he will spend in jail,” said Pastor Francis, “but, our hope is he will come to his destiny.”

That destiny, he said, might be to help other people who are struggling.

“Sometimes the very thing that would seem to disqualify you is the thing that qualifies you,” said the pastor.

“He has a heart for people,” he concluded.

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