Hernando woman arrested after pointing shotgun at children

Hernando County

HERNANDO COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) – On Circle Drive in Weeki Wachee several families came together to spend the 4th of July week together. Their children played in a canal behind the family home.

“Beautiful day, just like it is now and they were just, 12 and under, jumping and playing and having a great time,” said the mother of one of the children who did not want to be identified.

At some point, a neighbor across the canal came out around 6 p.m. to tell the children to be quiet and then things turned ugly.

“We had about 12 kids just playing in the canal and a lady across the canal came out and asked them to be quiet and then about 20 minutes later she pointed a shotgun at them all,” said the mother.

The woman waved the shotgun at the children and they feared for their lives.

“I just took the kids and ran and all of the men called 911 and all of the moms took the kids in,” said the mother.

When Hernando County Deputies arrived, they interviewed the children and then arrested Melinda Lee French, 61 and seized her shotgun. French is now facing multiple counts of aggravated assault.

People in the neighborhood say it’s a peaceful area and the canal is the perfect place for children to play.

Neighbors can’t understand why French was so angry and many said the children were polite and were only acting in a way you would expect happy children to play.

French was released on bond but will now have an opportunity to explain to a judge what made her so mad to begin with.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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