JONESBORO — Jonesboro police Chief Franklin Allen said he blasted state officials who made a mentally disabled man wait four hours after his driver was charged with drug possession Saturday.
“There is just no excuse for something like this,” said Allen. “We waited out there for four hours. That’s the real issue. We couldn’t get any help.”
Jonesboro police stopped a car driven by Ericka Reeshema Thompson, 38, about 3:30 p.m. at Tara Boulevard and Ga. 138. Allen said a license plate reader inside the patrol car alerted to expired registration.
Thompson, who works in the Henry County Division of Family and Children’s Services office as an economic support specialist, also works weekends for her brother’s Jonesboro group home. Allen said she was transporting a member of the group home at the time of the traffic stop.
“The officer smelled marijuana and called a female officer to do a search of the driver,” he said.
The officer reported finding marijuana in Thompson’s crotch area, cocaine in her bra and oxycodone pills in an unlabeled bottle in the glove compartment, according to the warrant. As far as the arrest goes, it was routine, said Allen.
“The drug case, we can handle that, that’s no problem,” he said. “The real problem is no one would call us back. We were just lucky to finally get the number of the group home and got him back there. The state is not even making excuses as to what happened.”
Allen said the man was fine.
“We got him some Coke and peppermint,” he said. “That’s all he wanted.”
No one from DFCS responded to Clayton News Daily’s repeated efforts to contact officials for a response. However, a spokeswoman told other media outlets that the alleged incident is under review.
Thompson was released Sunday on $25,000 bond. One of her co-workers at the group home called Clayton News Daily Tuesday afternoon to defend her but declined to give his name except to say he isn’t the owner.
The man said Thompson has been suspended from the group home until further notice.
“She’s always been a good worker and I think in the end, she will be OK,” he said. “She’s never been involved in an incident like this before. Everyone here supports her. She’s not a bad person at all.”
The employee said he’s worked with her for three years and had nothing negative to say about her.
“I understand she graduated college, she’s from a good family and background,” he said. “We don’t really know anything else about what’s going on except what’s been reported in the media.”
According to state records, the group home was inspected Oct. 28 and the owner, Aubrey Thompson, was cited for failing to renew his business license.
Thompson, 42, pleaded guilty in Clayton County Magistrate Court Nov. 21 and got a 20-day suspended jail sentence and a $250 fine. He was also ordered to have no other violations within 12 months.
At that time, according to state records, the home housed three men, two of whom have been there since 2006. The other man has lived there since 2007.