Community members jailed for bail money

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, December 1, 1999

More than 30 members of the Greenville Community were "arrested" by the Greenville Police Department Tuesday as part of the annual Jail and Bail fundraiser sponsored by the March of Dimes. The "criminals" were convicted by "Judge Hang em High" and senetenced to spend one hour in the jail making phone calls to raise money for the March of Dimes.

Event coordinator Linda Alred said the March of Dimes needed to raise about $8,000 in the area, and she feels that the group of "criminals" rounded up this year would be very successful.

"We had a very prominent group of people who agreed to help us out this year, and I feel we will make our goal easily," she said.

Once arrested, the "criminals" were taken to Beaugez's Restarant where a mock jail housed the prisoners and a bank of cellular telephones provided by Altell.

The criminals were taken before the judge and convicted, put in prison uniforms, and had a mug shot taken. With the formalities out of the way, the "convicts" were then locked in the jail for an hour or until they raised the amount of bail required.

"The average bail was about $250," Alred said. "But some people were asked to raise more."

She said that warrants were filed for the arrests by people all over town. Greenville Chief of Police Lonzo Ingram was himself arrested and put before Alred as "Judge Hang em High."

"You have been charged with working employees to the point of trying to bring back slavery," Alred said as she read the arrest warrant against Ingram. "How do you plea?"

"Guilty," Ingram replied as Alred slammed down a gavel.

Ingram was sentenced to raise $350 in his hour in jail. Others were asked to raise as much as $500.

Alred said that if a "convict" was unable to raise the required amount of bail in the hour, they were able to petition the court for parole. She said that most, however, had no problem raising their bail.