Wynne, AR — Jerri Kelly, a 46-year old woman from Arkansas, reportedly held four Black teens at gunpoint and forced them to the ground while they were going door-to-door to raise money for their high school football team.
On August 7th, the four boys, two of whom were wearing jerseys from the school’s team, were selling restaurant coupons door-to-door to raise money as usually done yearly by students from Wynne High School.
When the boys were walking up Kelly’s driveway, she burst out of her door with her gun aimed at them. She demanded them to lie down on the concrete ground, spread their legs, and keep their hands behind their back.
The boys tried to explain what they were actually doing but she did not listen. She called the police, continued standing over them and pointing a gun at them.
When police arrived to respond to her report of “suspicious persons,” they allowed the boys to stand up and tell what was happening. The police did not make any arrest on that day and drove the boys home.
Almost a week after the incident, on Monday, Kelly was arrested on charges of aggravated assault, false imprisonment, and endangering the welfare of a minor.
However, Kelly was immediately bonded out of the Cross County jail, where her husband, Joe Kelly, serves as the jail administrator. It has caused outrage, especially when she was allowed to leave the prison without taking a mugshot.
As a response, Cross County Sheriff David West, Joe’s employer, issued a statement citing “medical issue” as the reason why she doesn’t have a mugshot while being booked.
“During that time she was as at the jail, a bondsman arrived and bonded her out, and they went back home,” West told WMC Action News. “I’m professional. My department is professional. There was no special treatment. She went through the steps just like any other person would.”
When asked about how Kelly was treated and if she was given special treatment, Wynne Police Chief Jackie Clark diverted the topic and instead said, “This is about those four kids, and our focus is completely on those kids.”
Meanwhile, the school said they are considering to end the accustomed practice of soliciting donations for school activities using door-to-door fundraisers.