Man arrested after spraying boys in face with pepper-spray, Daytona police say

Police: Boys say they were defending mother from man making fun of her

By Loren Korn - Reporter

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. - A man was arrested after Daytona Beach police say he pepper-sprayed two boys in the face.

It was a scary situation for two young boys who went next door to play with their neighbor on Wednesday and got pepper sprayed in the face.

"They are still distraught about it. They still talk about it," said Jamila Holmes.

The incident happened Wednesday afternoon near the mailbox at the Country Club Oval Apartments on South Ridgewood.

"I was about to take a nap when my godson came up stairs and said auntie, this guy was about to pepper spray and he was talking about you," said Holmes.

Daytona Beach Police said 58-year-old Wilbert Vreen made fun of Holmes and her joint condition right in front of her 8-year-old son and 10-year-old godson.

"This man was talking about you crippled this and crippled that, they snapped," said Holmes.

The kids yelled back but police said that's when Vreen pepper sprayed the boys in the face, before Holmes had any time to react.

"Something's really wrong with you because those are kids. I don't care if they were doing good or bad, you had no business spraying them with anything."

The boys wore ice packs for hours and stood under cold water to minimize the pain. They were not seriously hurt. Holmes said this incident should have never happened.

"I'm supposed to protect my son and any other child around here. That's my job."

Vreer is in the Volusia County Jail facing two charges of child abuse. His bond is set at $4,000.

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