The wife of an Arkansas jail administrator was arrested on Monday for allegedly holding four minors at gunpoint as they tried to raise funds for their football team.
Jerri Kelly, 46, was charged with aggravated assault, false imprisonment and endangering the welfare of a minor for an August 7 incident at her home in Wynne. According to WMC, four teens were going door to door selling discount gift cards for their high school football team when Kelly pulled a gun on them.
In a statement to the news station, Wynne Police Chief Jackie Clark said officers who responded to a “suspicious person” call found the boys lying on the ground with Kelly standing over them with a gun. Officers intervened and let the boys stand up, leading them to explain about their door-to-door fundraising, Clark said.
Multiple reports noted that Kelly is white while the four teens—ages 15 and 16—are black.
“My grandson said, ‘Grandma, if she’d had shot me, I had made my peace with God,” one of the boys’ grandmothers told WREG, referring to what the teen said after the incident.
Two of the teens were reportedly wearing their school jerseys at the time of the incident. Citing police, ABC News reported that the boys had not yet made it to Kelly’s door and were on the street when Kelly approached them.
“These boys had on their football jerseys, and this is common around this time of year in Wynne,” one of the boys’ mothers said in a Facebook post, according to Wynne Progress.
“All this lady had to do was say no thank you and close the door, but instead she chose to pull a gun out and traumatize these boys.”
Wynne Superintendent Carl Easley confirmed to WMC that they’re aware of the incident and are considering eliminating door-t0-door fundraising as a result.
Kelly reportedly was bonded out of jail without having her mugshot taken. Cross County Sheriff David West explained to the news station that Kelly suffered an undisclosed “medical issue” during booking.
Officials have denied allegations that Kelly was given preferential treatment because her husband is Cross County Jail Administrator Joe Kelly—who is one of West’s employees.
Clark said, “This is about those four kids, and our focus is completely on those kids.”
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[Featured image: Jerri Kelly/Cross County Sheriff’s Office via AP]