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Cops force their way into home, manhandle father, drag him away in handcuffs for allegedly piercing son's ear: Video

Composite screenshot of @iamnugget770 TikTok video (Featured: Jeremy Sherland)

A father in Arkansas was recently arrested for allegedly piercing his son's ear, and a video of his arrest has since gone viral in part because of the aggressive tactics police appeared to use to enter a private residence and restrain a nonviolent suspect.

Last Thursday, police twice traveled to a home in Tontitown, Arkansas, in the northwestern corner of the state, about 10 miles from Fayetteville. They were there because a resource officer at Springdale High School had requested a wellness check on a juvenile living at the residence after a teacher overheard a boy say that his "drunk" father had placed him in a choke hold and "shoved [a] piercing in his ear."

It is illegal in Arkansas to "perform body art" without a license. It is also illegal to perform body art upon a person under the age of 16 even with a license, regardless of parental consent, except either when prescribed by a physician or "when piercing the earlobe."

The first time the Tontitown police stopped by the residence that day, they spoke with Jeremy Sherland, the unidentified boy's 45-year-old father, who is not a licensed piercer. During their conversation, police said that Sherland admitted to piercing the boy's ear, but soon afterward became uncooperative with the investigation and refused to allow police to speak to the child.

Later, police returned to the home again, this time with a warrant for Sherland's arrest. An individual inside the home, reportedly Sherland's son, recorded the arrest on a cellphone camera, and the video suggests that the situation turned ugly quickly.

The video begins with Sherland speaking to police at the front door and blocking them from entering or peering into the residence. One cop then places his hands on Sherland and forces him to the side so that the cop can breach the entryway. Several more officers then enter in quick succession, twisting Sherland's arms behind his back and placing him in handcuffs.

At that point, Sherland's wife walks up to the officers and demands to know why they are in her house, but police keep her from coming too near her husband or the other officers. One of the policemen informs Mrs. Sherland that her husband has been placed under arrest for unlawfully performing body art, a class D felony. That response prompts a bewildered guffaw from Jeremy Sherland.

Police then march Jeremy out of his home and to a nearby police cruiser as Mrs. Sherland and their son follow behind. "It takes three cops — four cops — coming into my house with no permission," Mrs. Sherland says on video. "No permission and busted in my front door."

The video was shared on TikTok on Saturday by an account purportedly owned by Sherland's son. "I pierced my ear a year ago and he got arrested because of it," a message accompanying the video stated.

Jeremy Sherland was booked into Washington County Jail and charged with performing body art on a person under 18, third-degree endangering the welfare of a minor, resisting arrest, and obstructing governmental operations. He has since been released on $1,500 bond and is scheduled to appear in court again on May 22.

Though many on social media have expressed outrage that Sherland was treated with so much hostility for an alleged offense like piercing a teenager's ear without a license, the Tontitown police have defended the actions of the officers involved in his arrest. "Officers asked Jeremy to step outside, Jeremy refused standing in the doorway with his hands behind the door and wall posturing himself," a statement from the department read in part. "Officers told Jeremy he was under arrest and explained the probable cause for the arrest. Jeremy refused to comply. Officers then took him into custody."

This strict enforcement of laws regarding body piercings in Arkansas runs counter to many laws passed throughout the country, which in some cases permit doctors to mutilate the genitals of minors without parental consent, as BizPac Review noted in its reporting.

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