April 29, 2004 - A 97-year old woman was arrested, handcuffed (behind the back) and taken to jail in the upscale Highland Park suburb of Dallas last week for having an outstanding warrant for failing to pay a traffic ticket. Harriette "Dolly" Kelton was featured on the Today Show this morning.
Police say they did nothing wrong - just followed "the book". But one of her sons is questioning how the elderly woman was treated. On the Today Show she appeared attractive, mentally sharp and much younger than her age. Her son reported she lives alone, cooks her own meals, goes out to lunch regularly and is involved in the community.
Mrs. Kelton says she does not blame the police for arresting her but says they could have been more considerate. She is a former school teacher who has lived in Highland Park for dozens of years.
She was stopped for having an expired registration and inspection sticker and a police check of her driver's license revealed the outstanding ticket. Police held her for two hours before her attorney appeared to have her released on her own recognizance. Kelton's sons include a state district judge and a plastic surgeon.
State District Judge David Kelton said it wouldn't be appropriate for him to discuss the arrest. But Dr. Phil Kelton Junior told The Dallas Morning News the family's real beef "is that no real judgment was displayed or actually carried out in this incident."
"Our real beef with this is that no real judgment was displayed or actually carried out in this incident", said Kelton's son Dr. Phil Kelton Jr., a plastic reconstructive surgeon with Baylor University Medical Center, to the Associated Press.
But police spokesman Detective Randy Millican told the AP the officers had no choice but to arrest Kelton's mother.
"A warrant begins with the words 'You are hereby commanded to arrest," Millican said. "How do you decide who do you arrest and who you don't? How about at age 90 but not at 91 and up? How about between 17 and 20?"
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