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No victim, no charges in Tontitown ear-piercing arrest, prosecutor says

by Tom Sissom | May 19, 2023 at 2:15 p.m.

FAYETTEVILLE -- No charges will be filed after a Tontitown man was arrested for piercing his son's ear.

Jeremy Sherland, 45, of Tontitown was arrested April 20 in connection with performing body art on a person younger than 18, third-degree endangering the welfare of a minor, resisting arrest and obstructing governmental operations.

He was released from the Washington County Detention Center on April 22 on $1,500 bond, according to information from the jail.

Prosecuting Attorney Matt Durrett said Friday he decided no charges will be filed in connection with the incident.

"The juvenile whose ear was pierced is telling a very different story now than he was at the time of the incident," Durrett said. "We don't have a victim who's alleging a crime may have occurred. Without a victim, we don't have grounds to proceed."

Sherland's arrest gained wide attention after a video of it, apparently recorded by his son, showed four Tontitown police officers enter Sherland's home, handcuff him and escort him to police vehicles.

The video shows Sherland laughing when officers inform him of what he's being arrested for. It also shows Sherland briefly resist as an officer tries to pull him out the door.

The camera follows officers as they take him away. A voice from behind the camera at one point says, "I wanted my ears pierced."

Tontitown police issued a news release on its Facebook page about the incident.

A Springdale police school resource officer contacted Tontitown police about conducting a welfare check on a juvenile male who lives in Tontitown, according to the release. The resource officer said the boy came to school with a piercing in his left ear. While in class, the boy was heard saying his father was drunk and put him in a choke hold, then "shoved the piercing in his ear."

Tontitown officers went to the home and spoke to the boy's father, identified as Sherland. He admitted to piercing his son's ear, the release states, and, when officers attempted to investigate, Sherland refused to let officers speak with his son and refused to answer questions.

Officers left the home and contacted Durrett's office, according to the news release. Arkansas law states, "a person shall not perform body art on a person under 16 years of age, regardless of parental consent." Also, "It is unlawful to perform body art in any unlicensed facility."

Officers later returned to the home to arrest Sherland.

Print Headline: No charges in ear-piercing arrest


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