70ºF

Cayenne copycat? Deputies investigate adult threatening to throw spices at child

Woman burned children's eyes with spices in original incident Monday, police say

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. – A 46-year-old mother remains in the Brevard County jail Tuesday night after facing a judge on felony accusations of throwing salt and cayenne pepper into the eyes of two girls who were bullying her daughter.

Cocoa police said Simmone James attacked the children at Cambridge Elementary School on Monday, burning the eyes and irritating the skin of an 8-year-old and an 11-year-old.

James is charged with two counts of felony child abuse and was ordered held at the jail on a $11,000 bond.

On Tuesday morning, deputies with the Brevard County Sheriff's Office began investigating a possible cayenne pepper copycat threat.

A report from the Sheriff's Office said someone else, inspired by James, threatened to throw a blend of powdery spices at a 9-year-old who was waiting for the bus in Merritt Island.

Deputies said the girl's mother called 911 from the Tropical Manor Apartments.

"Two or three of these parents out here talking about they're going to do the same (expletive) the lady did to the girls in Cocoa, throwing salt in my baby's face," the mother is heard telling a 911 operator.

The Sheriff's Office said it continues to look into the allegation and no one has been arrested.

Brevard Public Schools said James came forward about the bullying issues and the district was looking into possibly sending her daughter to another school.

"This was something that started in the neighborhood and only recently had come up at school. Clearly, things got out of control," Assistant Superintendent Matt Reed said.


The district said Cambridge Elementary will now make students sign anti-bullying pledge cards.
A judge told James she's not allowed to return to the school or make contact with the 8-year-old and 11-year-old girls.


About the Author: