The parents of two children who were allegedly assaulted at a North Carolina apartment complex swimming pool have filed a lawsuit against the apartment’s manager.
The lawsuit arises after an alleged assault of two Black children, Jace and Jaella Lee-Eury, siblings, ages 11 and 8, by a White female apartment complex manager, Kimberly Jennings. According to court documents, friends had invited the children to the apartment’s swimming pool, and they had been swimming in the pool in the days prior to the incident, although it is not clear if their friends were present on the day of the alleged assault.
The pool is for residents only and has a “no trespassing” sign posted in the pool area. The children were swimming in the pool on August 2 when Jennings confronted them and asked them to leave.
The altercation that followed was captured on cellphone video and posted to social media, where it went viral.
The video caught only a portion of the incident, but it shows Jennings pouring a soda on Jace’s head and striking him repeatedly on the face. The lawsuit alleges that prior to her actions against the boy, Jennings pulled Jaella’s hair and used racial slurs against both.
In an interview with WFMY-TV in Greensboro that aired on August 5, Jennings explained and apologized for her actions.
“The other day when he was out
Photo Credit: Greensboro Police Dept. there, we asked him to leave and he was mouthy,” Jennings said. “I had a soda in my hand and I just tossed it at him and I just bopped him. I did. I admit I did, but it was wrong. But like I’ve said, you’ve done it, and done it, and done it. You’ve asked him not to come back, and he’s tearing up everything, and he cusses you out, and you don’t know if he’s going to hit you again or what he’s going to do — I just reacted. But I will say that I’m sorry that I did that. I should have handled it differently.”
Jace said that the day of the alleged assault was the first time he’d been warned not to return to the pool.
“She said not to come back, this time. The other time, she never said not to come back, so that’s why we kept going: because, its summer, its hot, and it’s a pool.”
On August 3, the Greensboro Police Department responded to a report of an assault and made contact with the children and their parents. Greensboro police arrested Jennings and transported her to the Guilford County Jail. She was charged with two counts of simple assault against a child and has a court date set for September.
In their lawsuit filed on August 15 in the United States District Court Middle District Of North Carolina Greensboro Division, the family alleges discrimination on the ground of race; assault and battery; intentional infliction of emotional distress and; negligent retention and supervision.