Palm Bay couple accused of threatening kids

- A Palm Bay couple was thrown in jail, accused of threatening school kids with a hammer and a wrench.  

Police say Matthew Watkins and Kaylee Bender went too far to deal with possible bullying.  They arrested the couple on Monday afternoon on charges of aggravated assault on middle schoolers. They say it was all over a broken friendship.

“Apparently two girls used to be friends.  Another girl got in the middle of them, and that's what the argument is all about,” said Lt. Mike Bandish.

They say Watkins and Bender took things too far when they took matters into their own hands.

“The female Bender had a hammer and raised it toward the juveniles. That was right from the officers' investigation, and there was a lot of verbal communications back and forth -- not so nice communications,” Lt. Bandish said.

Eventually, passers-by had to come separate the group.  We tried getting Watkin’s and Benders' side of the story - but they wouldn't come to the door.  Police say they were greeted less kindly when they came to arrest the couple.

“He was very agitated,” Lt. Bandish recalled, “saying 'If you're gonna take me to jail, you're gonna need the SWAT team to come get me!'  That's when we took him into custody.”

Police found the hammer tossed in some tall grass near the house.  They say there's far better ways of handling the situation if you suspect your kid's being bullied.

“It would've been different if he'd chased them out of the yard, said 'Go home!' or called their parents. Call us, or somebody.  But not taking up a hammer and wrench. That's just improper for an adult to handle a 13 or 12-year-old child,” Bandish advised.

The couple has since been released from jail on $5,000 bail, each.  Their next court date has not yet been set.
 

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