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Gun-Toting Kampgrounds of America Worker Charged After Threatening Black Couple

A Mississippi campgrounds worker is facing charges after she was caught on video brandishing a gun during a confrontation with a Black couple late last month.

Ruby Howell, 70, turned herself in to police Tuesday for a misdemeanor charge of threatening exhibition of a weapon, the Starkville Daily News reported. Bond was set at $500, which Howell posted shortly after being booked into jail.

Ruby Howell

Ruby Howell, 70, was booked into jail Tuesday after turning herself into police. (Photo: Oktibbeha County Sheriff’s Dept.)

Jessica Richardson said she, her husband and their dog were out for a stroll at Oktibbeha County Lake when Howell, an employee for Kampgrounds of America at the time, approached them with a pistol. A clip from the May 26 incident shows the gray-haired woman ordering the couple to leave because they didn’t have a reservation.

“I’m just telling you you need to leave because it’s under private ownership,” Howell says. “Y’all just can’t be out here.”

“We didn’t know,” Richardson replies. “All you had to do is tell us to leave, and we would’ve left. You didn’t have to pull a gun. That’s all you had to say.”

On Facebook, Richardson explained that she and her husband, a military vet, had found a lake on Google Maps and decided to take their 2-year-old pup on a picknicking trip.

“Not five mins later, a truck pulls up and a white lady screams at us,” she recalled in a post captioned “RACISM IS ALIVE AND WELL!” “She then jumps out of her truck with a gun and proceeds to point it at the 3 of us, simply because we didn’t make reservations.”

As it turned out, the couple didn’t need a reservation at all.

The incident sparked outrage on social media, after which Kampgrounds of America fired Howell.

According to CNN, threatening exhibition of a weapon is punishable by up to three months in county jail and a maximum fine of $500.

Her next court date is scheduled for June 25. If convicted, Howell faces a three-month sentence and a maximum fine of $500, according to CNN.

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