Man pleads guilty after testing bulletproof vest on neighbor


Charles Eugene Ferris, 51 (l) and 36-year-old Christopher Hicks, were arrested in April 2019 after admitting to taking turns shooting at each other while wearing a bulletproof vest. (Source: Benton County Sheriff’s Office)

BENTONVILLE, Ark. (KNWA) — A Rogers man pleaded guilty to aggravated assault and illegal possession of a firearm after admitting to taking turns with a neighbor testing a bulletproof vest last year, according to Benton County prosecuting attorney Nathan Smith.

Charles Eugene Ferris, 51, was sentenced to 27 days in the Benton County Jail and five years of probation.

Benton County Sheriff’s deputies were originally called to Mercy Hospital in March of last year to investigate a report of a man who had been shot multiple times while wearing a bullet-proof vest, according to an affidavit.

Ferris originally lied to investigators, claiming someone from the edge of a tree line began shooting at him and his “asset” on Highway 12.

Ferris later changed his story about the incident and said he did not want to get his friend, 36-year-old Christopher Hicks in trouble, so he made up his prior story, according to the affidavit. 

He then told police what really happened and said he had been drinking on his back deck with Hicks and wanted Hicks to shoot him with the vest on.

Hicks admitted to shooting Ferris with a .22 caliber semi-automatic rifle. The bullet hit the top left corner of the vest, which stopped the bullet but the impact left a red mark. 

Ferris told police he was “pissed” and Hicks put the vest on. Ferris then “unloaded the clip into Hicks’ back.” No rounds from the .22 caliber semi-automatic rifle penetrated the vest.

Ferris and Hicks were arrested on April 1 and charged with aggravated assault.

Charles Eugene Ferris, 51 (Source: Benton County Sheriff’s Office)
Christopher Hicks, 36 (Source: Benton County Sheriff’s Office)

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