Arkansas men shoot each other bullet proof vest
Charles Ferris (L) and Christopher Hicks (Courtesy Benton County Sheriff's Office)
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Arkansas men shoot each other bullet proof vest
Charles Ferris (L) and Christopher Hicks (Courtesy Benton County Sheriff’s Office)

We could make up a story like this, but why bother when you have people like Charles Ferris and Christopher Hicks running around un-supervised? The pair of Arkansans were reportedly lounging on Hicks’ deck enjoying adult beverages when Ferris, who was wearing a bullet-proof vest for some reason, told Hicks to shoot him.

That sounded like a great idea, so Hicks grabbed a gun. We don’t know how far apart they stood, but . . .

Hicks shot Ferris in the chest one time with a .22 caliber semi-automatic rifle, according to the report. The bullet hit him the top left corner of the chest, and the vest stopped the bullet. The shot still hurt Ferris and left him with a red mark on the chest.

As you’d expect. We’re just glad they didn’t use something chambered in a caliber with more oomph. Still, it stung and Ferris wasn’t happy about it (though we’re not sure exactly what he thought was going to happen).

Ferris took the vest off and gave it to Hicks to put on.

Charles Ferris was “pissed” about getting shot and how much it hurt, so he “unloaded the clip into Christopher’s back,” according to the report.

None of the rounds penetrated the vest, but Christopher Hicks suffered bruises.

It hurt enough that Ferris went to a local hospital to have the wound checked out. When Sheriff’s deputies responded, the two made up a BS story at first to try to conceal how pig-ignorant they’d been. But it didn’t hold up for very long.

Ferris later told deputies about drinking with Hicks and how they shot each other with bulletproof vests on after deputies spoke with Ferris’ wife.

It’s always the wife that spoils all the fun, amirite? The two are now facing charges of aggravated assault. And they’re lucky neither of them missed the other’s vest and earn a Darwin Award nomination.


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  1. So two grown adults engage in a consensual dangerous activity, which does not endanger anyone else and leaves them unharmed, because they took precautions to protect themselves.
    Asinine to arrest them at all.

    • Mr. Taylor,

      See my comment below. We do not arrest and prosecute participants in boxing matches and martial arts sparring matches — both of which can get pretty brutal at times. (I know first hand.) Why is this any different as long as both participants consented to their mutual activity?

      • Clarification: I am not disagreeing or arguing with Mr. Taylor. Rather, I am echoing his comment.

      • But if decided to have a “boxing match” in the alley behind their favorite bar the would be arrested and charged with disorderly conduct and battery. Neither of you seem be able to differentiate between a sanctioned sporting event and criminal conduct. Consenting to illegal conduct doesn’t convert it to legal conduct.

        • Eh, on the one hand I agree and on the other I don’t.

          So, if my buddy and I want to race each other across a public park on foot, that’s not sanctioned but it’s legal. If however, we decide to pit his wrestling skills against my BJJ skills in that same public park, it’s not legal. The same could be said for any other martial art vs martial art. Clearly the issue isn’t simply safety because one of us could trip, fall and get hurt in a foot race or run into another person. Is the foot race really legal? Honestly I don’t know but if you’ll get stopped/harassed or not depends on who sees it. Some cops will say you can’t race here.

          OTOH, if we go to the gym and test ourselves out on the mat, it’s legal and no one questions it. So location seems to matter, but maybe it’s also the presence of a professional in the form of my BJJ coach. We have changed two variables here so it could be either one.

          However, once again, if we change venue it becomes illegal again, as we found out when my coach put down mats and covered the walls with mats in his garage as a secondary training area for the truly dedicated. The cops showed up wondering why people were “fighting” in his garage. There was no talk of “business licenses” only “fighting”. So, we can scratch coach of the list of “what makes this legal” because his presence in the wrong location doesn’t make it legal.

          So it’s not the presence of the professional coach/trainer/teacher. It’s not the activity either. It seems to have something to do with the location.

          So, what is it?

          Well, it’s totally legal for us to roll or spar at the gym in coach’s presence but not in the garage of the same guy who runs that gym. It would similarly be illegal for us to break into the gym to use it when coach isn’t present. But if we engage in this activity in the presence of that particular guy and at that particular location, it’s legal.

          So it’s not just physical location either.

          Since we can do this anywhere that’s similar (a martial arts gym), what is the true similarity between those places? What is it about a “martial arts gym” that makes this test of wrestling vs. BJJ legal?

          I would argue that it’s taxes. That’s the similarity. We have to be in a location where this is “acceptable” because that place 1) is acceptable 2) is expected to have people present who can increase the level of safety and 3) for which we have paid an entry fee on which the government can assess a tax. The first two however are just a BS “safety regulation” to force #3 on us because we can have both those variables covered in a garage and this is still illegal.

          “Sanctioned”, it seems to me, is government speak for “people doing something in a place and location for which they paid a fee which the government can legally apply taxes and take a cut”.

          That doesn’t sound very much like “freedom” or “liberty” to me. That sounds very much like the reason a bunch of people back in the day decided to throw a bunch of shit into a harbor.

        • “That doesn’t sound very much like “freedom” or “liberty” to me. That sounds very much like the reason a bunch of people back in the day decided to throw a bunch of shit into a harbor.”

          You’re on to something with that comparison. Another analogy – Try flying off of property you own without government ‘permission’ in a lot of areas. That can apply to a lake you live on, as some have found out down here.

          Our freedoms are being ‘progressively’ crushed, not increased. If we were able to drop Ben Franklin & the Founders in America today, they would be conflicted beyond belief. Stunned at the state of technological process, and *horrified* at the hundreds of thousands (if not more) of ‘laws’ me must endure.

          Once they got over the shock, Dr. Franklin might prescribe a re-setting of ‘things’…

        • No, I absolutely would not be charged with anything, and this happens every day all over the country.

        • “No, I absolutely would not be charged with anything…”

          I wouldn’t go this far. You probably wouldn’t be charged under many circumstances unless they told you to knock it off and you didn’t. You might be charged however if the cop(s) was/were in a bad mood and depending on circumstances including where, when and how the “boxing match” occurs and what witnesses say happened.

          Bar fights get people charged all the time even when both people agreed to the fight, and took it outside and no one sustained any serious injuries or wants to press charges, because it was a point of honor. Being consenting doesn’t make it legal in the eyes of the law (or John/Jane Law as the case may be), in fact, it may take away any defense you have because you can’t say “he hit me first” and claim self defense in a fight you agreed to have.

        • Let’s see, Get drunk and drive around on your own property — legal.

          Tie one on and drive on a public road — illegal.

          See what I did there? Context is everything.

          So let us examine this particular case.

          Battery: Using force to inflict bodily harm.

          Aggravated battery: Using a weapon to inflict bodily harm.

          Was a weapon use to inflict bodily harm? Yes. The charge is justified.

          If you do not consider this incident to be criminal than neither was the lady who shot her boyfriend on the assumption that the book would stop the bullet. It was a consensual act. The level of harm should have no bearing on whether a voluntary act is legal or not. The only thing that changes is the charges brought forward.

          So if these two bozos are innocent of wrong doing so is the lady in the other case.

        • “If you do not consider this incident to be criminal than neither was the lady who shot her boyfriend on the assumption that the book would stop the bullet.”

          Yes, context matters but I would say neither of them committed a crime because, as you said, the act was consensual and in both cases not meant to cause serious harm. Some shit is just dangerous and if you get hurt doing it that’s your problem. The uneven application of the law in these cases raises serious questions about how far the law can be stretched if someone has an agenda.

          To use a somewhat, somewhat I stress, similar example. Two adult friends decide to play paintball. They’re consenting to the idea that they might get shot with a paintball. Now if one guy shoots the other aiming at his chest and the ball ends up with a backspin on it and arcs upwards (this does happen with paintball guns sometimes), hitting the second guy in the face, and somehow skirting the eyepro that’s being worn, is that a crime?

          A unintended injury was sustained by a consenting adult. Is there a crime? What if that paintball causes an injury that results in partial blindness? Is that a crime? What if it’s complete blindness in that eye? Loss of the eye? Where’s the line where this becomes a crime?

          Further, is the paintball gun manufacturer liable for damages? The paintball manufacturer? The eyepro manufacturer? The person who fired the ball?

          No. None of the above.

          The fact that these guys used a bulletproof vest shows, or should show, that they had a reasonable expectation that the safety equipment would reduce the chance of injury or the nature of an injury, to a level that they were willing to accept. They is no way to say that they knew or should have known that a serious injury, which didn’t occur anyway, would be the result of them.

          What they did is stupid but should not be criminal. In reality the State couldn’t find a way to charge them money for their behavior and so charged with criminally. I used the word “fee” earlier but that wasn’t really right, I should have said “vig” or “vigorish” because that’s what it really is. The government doesn’t give a damn about how dangerous what you do is or even if you live or die provided they get a cut of the proceeds and if there are no proceeds to take a cut from they’ll find a way to discourage that behavior.

        • WhiteDevil:

          No, he knew one of the cops because my coach is also the high school wrestling coach and knew the cop’s kid, and therefore the cop quite well. So they had a big friendly chat while two other cops stewed about how they weren’t being allowed to “enforce the law”. What law they thought was being broken I never found out.

          The 5-0 left, the garage door got closed to about 4″ off the ground so whoever had called couldn’t see what was going on anymore and that was that.

        • tdinva, strych9

          The fact that they put on protection negates any battery charge or any charge of that nature. It is obvious that they did not intend to hurt each other, and they took affirmative steps to make sure they did not hurt each other, and no one was hurt. Using a minimum caliber far below what the vest was rated for is more evidence of that.

          All over America, right now, there are backyard boxing matches, wrestling matches, karate tournaments, etc, which have no governing authority whatsoever. None of them are illegal. Because, just like this event, no one intended to harm each other, and they took steps to make sure they were not harmed.

        • tdiiinva, as to your example of the woman who shot her boyfriend, consensually, I actually don’t think charges should have been filed on her. In her specific case, her boyfriend, on tape, repeatedly insisted that she perform the act, even after she repeatedly said she didn’t want to. He assured her it was safe.
          She was performing what she assured was a safe act. The court should also take into account that she was a minor.

          But even so, it doesn’t apply to this case. Any reasonable, knowledgeable adult would tell you that what they did was not safe. However, any reasonable, knowledgeable adult would tell you that shooting a level 3 or higher vest with a 22LR is relatively safe. The protection the two men used was certified by an independent body as safe for the round they used.

          Any thinking person would have told you that a single phone book would not stop a 50DE. Any thinking person would tell you a level 3 vest would stop a 22LR.

          The men took adequate protections to ensure no one was hurt. No one was hurt. No aggravated battery charge is reasonable.

        • JWT:

          I agree with you except with one quibble.

          Those backyard matches are not, strictly speaking, legal. They just are unknown/not cared about/not reported. If someone sees them and decides to call the cops the cops are going to show up. What the police do once they show up will be due to a combination of factors but there are charges they can toss around and sometimes they will. If the people in question, for example, take an attitude with a cop who’s already in a bad mood someone’s going to jail.

          The police can and will find something to charge/cite people with if the cops care enough to do it.

        • @ tdiinva
          How is it illegal if two grown men dont press Charges?
          How is it Illegal if I consent to getting shot, or Get my ass kicked?
          I been in Fights as a Teen..
          Sanctioned Fights are Just Recorded and monitored..
          If these Jackasses decided to shoot each other and Not Press Charges I don’t see Why there in Jail.

    • Discharging a firearm in the city limits?

      Hunting within a 1/4 mile of a roadway?

      “SHIT THAT HURT!!!!!”

      Soooo……. Noise pollution?

      Um, “Reckless Endangerment”?

    • I agree.

      “The two are now facing charges of aggravated assault.”

      If there is no injured party willing to support prosecution, this shouldn’t happen. The “State” was not harmed in any real way.

      • It sounds like their “fun” turned into anger and an assault (emptying the full magazine – or maybe it really was a clip? …probably not). In that case, one or both would easily have grounds to press charges… though they did lie to the police about what happened, which seems like neither wanted to press charges after all… so who knows? I tend to think these two will probably become a self correcting problem one of these days…

        • “though they did lie to the police about what happened, …”

          That’s a very convenient ‘crime’ for LE to prosecute when it pleases them…

    • Exactly. They should be protected under the “Hold my beer” clause of the Constitution.

    • Well Sparky, so if I give my consent to you to kill and eat me then that’s ok, right and before you jump the gun there was a case in Germany like that 2001. He is serving a life sentence. Consenting to an illegal act does not confer legality.

    • It’s a serious question. Does your thinking include being refused Medical Care because you willingly engaged in consensual dangerous behavior, and were injured? Does this include consensual sexual activity resulting in HIV exposure?

      PS I don’t think guns and any intoxicant mix. Alcohol marijuana it doesn’t matter. If anybody does this hopefully they only kill and injure themselves.

      Is there a way we can avoid the public cost of being stupid?

      • “Is there a way we can avoid the public cost of being stupid?”


        It will just cost you some freedom, ‘citizen’… 🙂

    • ” A person commits aggravated assault if, under circumstances manifesting extreme indifference to the value of human life, he or she purposely:
      (1) Engages in conduct that creates a substantial danger of death or serious physical injury to another person;
      (2) Displays a firearm in such a manner that creates a substantial danger of death or serious physical injury to another person;”

      Both of these would apply. Stupid games, stupid prizes. Ultimately any arguments will be hashed out in court, but it is clear that their acts constitute a crime under the state statute.

  2. Now, can anyone be stupid enough to think that these two, who seem to share the same half of a very small brain, would have been all safe if they hadn’t had a 10/22 available? Or would they have just decided to roll down a cliff inside of a truck tire instead?

    • Use of a semi-auto certainly made the injuries sustained much worse. Should ban them….

      • You are an idiot as being a semi-auto weapon has nothing to do with it in fact the power needed to eject around and feed a new round actually makes a semi-auto weapon less powerful than a bolt action I just hate stupid people like you!

        • @Vincent You’re an idiot if you seriously cannot see sarcasm when it smacks you upside the head.

          • Dear WhiteDevil, if that was sarcasm I am sorry because obviously I really did miss it.

  3. Bwaqhahahahahahaha!!!
    This is the funniest dumbass thing I’ve seen this year!!!
    Unfortunately, the anti-gun bastards will probably use this to fuel their fires.

    • With the multitude of cameras around, when handling firearms it is best to assume you are under surveillance. So don’t be a dumbass. Otherwise you’ll be known as “that person”.

      • “Otherwise you’ll be known as “that person”.”

        Being in Florida, you have no idea how glad I am that it wasn’t “Florida Man (Men)”…

  4. While I think their activity was incredibly foolish, how is it a crime if each of them did it to each other with consent? We have professional boxing matches and even some pretty rough sparring matches in martial arts programs: no one ever charges those participants with assault and battery or aggravated assault. How is this any different?

    • I’d think the guy who shot the first shot would get off since he could claim he didn’t know it would hurt that bad, but the second guy knew full well and shot the first guy 9 or 10 times and sent him to the hospital. That and can’t those vests fail if you get a second bullet in the same spot as a prior one? If not assault I’d think that would at least qualify for reckless endangerment or something to that effect.

      • Governor,

        Perhaps someone could make an argument for charging the second guy who shot multiple times — even then I think that is a stretch since it sounds like the the other guy on the receiving end still consented. (He willingly, apparently, donned the ballistic vest at the request of his friend without any indication of coercion.)

        As for multiple shots in a ballistic vest, I have heard that a second bullet could possibly punch through if you hit the exact same spot where a previous bullet hit. Of course the odds of that are about nil since firearms recoil and you would almost never recover from recoil and come back on target to the exact same location.

        Also, I am wondering if the lowly .22 LR cartridge lacks the oomph to pose a serious threat of defeating a ballistic vest even if you somehow managed to put a second bullet in the exact same spot. Although, having said that, I suppose .22 LR is just as likely to defeat a ballistic vest as any other handgun caliber since the sectional density and velocity of the .22 LR bullet would be basically the same as many handgun cartridges.

        • If a bullet did make it through you’d have the same situation you had when that girl shot her boyfriend in the chest with the Desert Eagle for a You Tube video because they thought a phone book would stop the bullet. If I remember right she’s got about 20 years to think about that mistake.

        • Hmm, that is an interesting question: what legal consequences, if any, should someone face if a second bullet hit the exact same spot as a first bullet and punched through?

          I am thinking perhaps manslaughter? After all, they used what they reasonably thought was an adequate ballistic barrier. (Note: if they did not think their ballistic barrier was adequate, they obviously would not have shot the barrier with a person behind it.) And even a fairly intelligent person can certainly see how a thick phone book would seem to be able to stop a handgun bullet.

          Given that all involved were willing participants and everyone took what were arguably reasonable precautions, I don’t see how this rises to the level of lengthy prison sentences. If I were the judge on such a case, I would most likely throw out any felony charges and only allow misdemeanor charges.

  5. I’m guessing they didn’t know that a .22LR pistol produces as much energy as a batter takes when hit with a 98mph fastball. Otherwise they’d have known that would hurt like hell.

    • Even with a vest, the kinetic energy could break a rib.

      And having broken ribs, it hurts like a motherfvcker, and for well over a month, it flat hurts to breathe…

  6. A guy named Hicks was involved? Really?Did he live in a trailer?
    Dudes like that give the anti second amendment folks another stick to beat us with. I believe in creative sentencing, death penalty by being beat to death with a pool noodle!

  7. unfortunately the bullits didn’t do the job of civic improvement that they were trying for. YOU CAN FIX BROKEN BUT YOU CAN NOT FIX STUPID … BETTER LUCK NEXT TIME..

  8. So Ferris was mad that it hurt and then dumps a mag into Hicks with a homicidal anger to multiply the pain he experienced from his own idea and brazen request.

    Hicks gets more bruises, yet weakass Ferris decides to visit the ER because his single booboo still hurts a lot and therefore gets them all busted.

    I’d bet Hicks doesn’t ever invite Ferris over, again.

  9. What is the point of pressing criminal charges? To teach them not to do dumb sh*t around the wife?

    Just because you CAN charge someone with a crime doesn’t necessarily mean you HAVE to. Or should.

  10. Another pair of gems from the land of Clinton. If two martial artists did something this stupid it would never even be mentioned. So, we’ve got two drunk idiots bored by their inate limitations. Toss in firearms and then the story has legs. Poor old Darwin never got a chance to see how correct his Theory was. F-K-A.

      • Follow me when I lead. Kill me if I retreat. Avenge me when I am killed. If you haven’t been there it would be a waste of bandwidth to try to explain it. “30”

        • Thanks for telling me what it stands for. Kiss my ass for being an elitist dick since I wasn’t in whatever military branch dreamed up the motto.

  11. Reckless endangerment. If either dude missed, who knows where in the trailer park that bullet might have landed?

    Aggravated assault? No jury would convict them.

  12. Well, in their defense….hmmm…..well, at least they didn’t try using a book to stop a .50 AE. You gotta give them that!

  13. I’m not going to bother looking up the Arkansas law on “Aggravated Assault” but I would bet that the charges get dropped. I doubt very much they can sustain an Assault charge in a consensual affair and I know damn well they can’t prove assault without sworn testimony in court from either the victim or a witness. As stupid as these two obviously are, even an Arkansas public defender lawyer should be smart enough to tell them both to shut up.

  14. “Hold my beer, I’m gonna’ try someth’n”

    How many tombstones in how many graveyards should have those words carved into them?

  15. Obviously Hicks was faking his injury. If you look closely he’s wearing a wolf shirt.

  16. If we follow a certain logic, then these men should have to pay out of pocket for the medical expenses.

    • In that instance, that should be the penalty. Out-of-pocket for the 5K ER bill…

  17. So much dumbassery… and bitch behavior. Not the wife, mind you. Aside from the dumbassery of the whole thing to start with, you have bitch one- the guy who got shot first and got pissed to he literally unloaded on the other guy when it was his ‘turn’ instead of firing one shot. Bitch two: the guy that decided he needed to go to a hospital despite the vest stopping all the (.22!!!) rounds. Guess what? Wounds like that are a mandatory reporting issue at the hospital.

  18. Spent some time living in ArgggKansas, Doesn’t surprise me in the least. The countryside is beautiful but the gene pool doesn’t appear to have a deep end.

      • Yeah. I was kinda thinking that wasting a perfectly good bulletproof vest was the crime.

        Then I went back and looked at that guy’s goatee and thought of Rocket Raccoon.

  19. If they’d had “sex” (engaged in homosexual acts) with each other it’d be legal, since it was consensual and they were both adults. So why is this any different?

  20. Did those two dolts recently relocate to Arkansas from Florida?

    If they were still in Florida, would they have used a .50 cal?

  21. If you really want to know if this was contrived, you have to find out if the shooter handed the shootee his beer first. He never would have done that if he thought his buddy would spill his beer.

  22. I am simply amazed that nobody has used the word “inbred” in any of these comments.
    Both of them are definitely dumber than a box of rocks, for sure.

    Phil in TX

  23. Hold my beer and watch this. Classic idiot move. Not saying these guys should go to jail, but it’s this kind of behavior that makes law abiding gun owners look carless and causes the demorats to want to push more laws to take away our rights

    • That’s the reason the story was printed in the first place. I hear there are leftists in Arkansas, too.

  24. Is that a candle in the window?…….Oh wait it’s just a reflection……The lights where NOT on with these 2 but you add booze to it and the brain leaves town…

  25. Personally, I’ve always thought the first rule of gun safety is don’t handle a gun after or while drinking alcohol. Which is why prohibition against carrying in a bar is problematic. (sure you don’t HAVE to drink in a bar but it’s pretty likely you will)

    At least they were aware enough to only use .22 which btw is a warning to folks that they shouldn’t discount the lowly .22 as a killing bullet.

    .22’s been killing animals in the thousands for many a year.

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