Parents charged with attacking student at bus stop

Mother says she took action because student threatened to sexually assault her daughter

By Lisa Bell - Anchor

LAKE COUNTY, Fla. - A Lake County mother and father were both arrested, accused of attacking a student at a bus stop.

Not only did the mom hit the student, but she then called her husband who came to the bus stop and hit the child again, authorities say.

The parents are out of jail and told Local 6 they had no choice because this boy was threatening their daughter.

The attack happened in Clermont at a bus stop at East Grand Highway and North Disston Avenue just before 7 a.m. on Wednesday morning.

It was still dark out when 17-year-old Flavia Peredo, a junior at Lake Minneola High School, was walking to the bus stop.

Peredo's mom, Edsandra Macedo, said she was about three houses away from the stop, watching to make sure she arrived safely.

That's when Macedo said she heard her daughter start to scream.

"She's screaming, 'Help, help.' It was dark," said Macedo.

Macedo said that's when her maternal instincts kicked in. She said she ran up the street and found a 16-year-old Lake Minneola High student grabbing her daughter's arms, threatening to sexually assault her.

"(He was) beating my daughter, beating me in my arm," said Macedo. "He pushed me, he said to me... 'I'm a minor, I can do whatever I want.'"

"I just can't believe that he did that to me," said Peredo, who was visibly upset. "(My mom) said, 'Don't talk to my daughter like that... so he started pushing her by the road and my mom went ahead and slapped him in the face."

Macedo said the teenager was out of control, so she then called her husband, Eric Smith, for help.

"My husband says, 'Stop.' He got into my husband's face, my husband said, 'Oh you're not going to do that,' and my husband gave it to him," said Macedo.

The scrapes are still visible on Brenden Hernandez's face. His family did not want to comment on camera, but said they admit the teens exchanged words.

However, they said Peredo initiated the verbal exchange at the bus stop. They said Hernandez responded with an inappropriate, but non-threatening, comment and was attacked out of the blue.

Hernandez said just as the bus pulled up, he was slapped and punched in the face multiple times by the two adults.

The bus driver also told authorities it was the parents who were the aggressors.

"I defended my daughter," said Macedo. "If somebody else is screaming, asking for help, I'd do it again."

Both Macedo and Smith are charged with battery. Macedo is also charged with obstruction for initially lying to police about her husband's whereabouts.

A spokesman for the Lake County School district praised the bus driver. He said while the attack was underway, she did everything right by closing the bus door and calling 911.

The district has offered the male student transportation on a different route. Macedo said she is now driving her daughter to school.

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