BREVARD COUNTY, FL (WESH/CNN) - A Florida mother faces charges, including child abuse, after police say she threw cayenne powder into the faces of two sisters who had allegedly been bullying her daughter.
Police say 46-year-old Simmone James walked her 10-year-old daughter to Cambridge Elementary School in Cocoa, FL, the morning of Oct. 1.
The mother confronted two sisters, ages 8 and 11, who had allegedly been bullying her daughter for 3 months. She is accused of throwing a powdery substance, believed by police to have been a mixture of cayenne pepper and salt, in the girls’ faces.
“The girls had a reaction to it. Their eyes started tearing up, burning sensation,” said Yvonne Martinez with the Cocoa Police Department.
James’ husband, Larry Barkley, alleges the sisters have thrown rocks at the house and chased their 10-year-old down the street.
“My daughter’s scared to death. My wife has got to walk her to school, and I just don’t think it’s fair,” Barkley said.
The sisters were treated at the school’s clinic and taken to the hospital as a precaution.
James is charged with two counts of battery and one count each of disrupting a school function and child abuse. The abuse charge is a felony, while the other three are misdemeanors, according to the Brevard County Sheriff’s Office.
“Any mom is gonna defend her child, but this is not the way to do it. You don’t resort to violence to deal with it,” Martinez said.
Barkley says the family had previously contacted the school, police and sheriff’s office – but to no avail.