Watkins released from jail after fine paid for traffic ticket

Staff reportDecember 23, 2013 

Virgil Watkins Jr.

Macon councilman Virgil Watkins was released from jail about 7 p.m. Monday after being held for several hours for failing to pay a ticket in Dooly County.

Police officers pulled Watkins over Monday afternoon in Macon, police spokeswoman Jami Gaudet said. When they learned there was a bench warrant for Watkins in Dooly for failing to appear in court, they took him to the Bibb County jail shortly before 4 p.m.

“It’s nobody’s fault but mine,” Watkins said by phone Monday night.

At this point, he said, he is not certain of the chain of events, but the traffic ticket that led to his arrest was issued for an expired registration on his vehicle. He received the ticket while driving on Interstate 75 in October, he said.

Payment for the ticket was due in November, but he hadn’t paid it as of early Monday.

Watkins said he wasn’t committing any traffic violations when Macon police officers pulled him over Monday afternoon on Vineville Avenue, so he speculates instruments in their vehicles alerted them to his outstanding warrant out of Dooly.

“The officers were very professional and courteous,” Watkins said. “I still support law enforcement. They did their job.”

“At this point, I paid my debt and there is nothing outstanding,” he added.

Watkins, 29, was elected to council in 2007. He is chairman of Macon City Council’s Public Safety Committee. He is the Ward IV, Post 3 representative.

He held off fellow Macon City Council member Charles Jones in October to win a seat on the new Macon-Bibb County Commission this year.

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