Woman arrested after allegedly attempting to run over children with vehicle at Ardmore park
An Ardmore woman was arrested after allegedly driving through Fraley Park in an attempt to run over several children Tuesday evening. One alleged victim said he was inches away from being hit.
Ardmore Police Department Capt. Claude Henry said officers were dispatched to the park, located across the street from a daycare center on Martin Luther King Drive, at around 5:30 p.m. on July 7 in reference to a reckless driver. The suspect’s vehicle was quickly located and an officer initiated a traffic stop on the vehicle.
The driver was identified as 57-year-old Tammy Maris. Maris reportedly admitted to driving through the park and told police that she was attempting to identify some juveniles that she had issues with a couple days prior.
“It was involving some juveniles shooting some fireworks at her residence,” Henry said. However, no juveniles at the park that day were connected with any type of criminal activity.
The responding officer made contact with several alleged juvenile victims at the park who stated that the suspect was driving recklessly through the park. “The victims expressed that they were in fear of being ran over or struck by the vehicle,” Henry said.
There were no injuries reported at the time of the incident. Lionel Brown, a local Ardmore resident, said two of his sons, ages 17 and 15, were at the park when the incident occurred. His sons were with a group of six other juveniles hanging out at a pavilion at the park.
Jordyn Brown, one of the alleged victims, said Maris approached the pavilion and started taking pictures of them. When asked why she was taking pictures, Jordyn Brown said she claimed that she was going to send them to the police because of the children popping fireworks at her house.
Jordyn Brown said they told the lady they didn’t have any fireworks and when they tried to leave the park, she drove towards them and came inches away from running them over.
Over the Fourth of July weekend, Jordyn Brown said he and his brother were walking home during the day and Maris, who lives a few blocks away from the park, approached them and allegedly began threatening them.
Jordyn Brown said she told them not to pop fireworks at her house because she had a gun. “She said she has a gun and she’d use it if she had to,” he said. At the time, they said they laughed it off and didn’t take her seriously.
“Now we understand that when people make these kinds of threats they’re serious," Lionel Brown said. "I believe that if she was bold enough to try to run these kids over with her car, she was bold enough to shoot them if she actually had a gun on her.”
After Maris allegedly attempted to run the children over, one of Jordyn Brown’s classmates called the police. Jordyn Brown and his brother then ran home to tell their father what had happened.
“I teach them don’t retaliate and, if it’s an adult, you come get me. I’m an adult and we’ll handle it,” Lionel Brown said, commending the children’s response to the incident. “These kids are heroes in my eyes for handling the situation the way they did. It shows levels of maturity and being brave, as well.”
Lionel Brown said it initially appeared as though the police weren’t taking the situation very seriously and the parents were wondering if the woman was going to be arrested at all.
“They were nice and cool guys and at the same time I didn’t understand what was going on as far as why she wasn’t being arrested,” Lionel said. “My wife and I didn’t understand — this woman drove up in the park and actually tried to run the kids over. That’s assault with a deadly weapon, I mean this is attempted murder.”
Upon further investigation, the responding officer reportedly located evidence in the park that suggested the suspect had been driving through the park in a reckless manner. Maris was taken into custody that day and booked into the Carter County jail for assault with a dangerous weapon.
“This woman could’ve taken a couple of them out,” Lionel Brown said. “She deserves a charge for each one of those kids that was at the park that she tried to run over that day.”
Anyone who is involved in any type of dispute or crime should first contact police to help resolve the issue, Henry said. The Ardmore Police Department can be reached at (580) 223-1212.
“If citizens are personally involved in disagreements or crimes, they shouldn’t take matters into their own hands,” Henry said. “Call the police department and give us an opportunity to resolve these issues in a civil manner.”