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“Mass Chaos” At Walmart Girl Scout Cookie Stand as Clash Turns Violent Over $20 Debt

| February 27, 2017

Daniel Kennedy. girl scout cookies

Daniel Kennedy.

Girl Scout cookies are a nearly $800 million a year business, selling 194 million boxes in 2015 alone. Around this time of year hundreds of the iconic boxes are sold outside Palm Coast’s big box stores by local Girl Scout troupes and their chaperones. One such stand was set up outside of Walmart off Cypress Point Parkway in Palm Coast Saturday evening.

But a dispute between two young passers-by and sellers of the cookies allegedly over an old $20 debt turned ugly, loud then violent, boxes of Thin Mints, Samoas and Trefoils were thrown, so were punches, a man who’d had open-heart surgeries just a few days before was hospitalized with injuries, a woman and a young boy were struck (the boy was hospitalized), and the two alleged assailants were arrested and charged with counts of battery and disorderly conduct.

The confrontation began when Daniel Kennedy, an 18-year-old resident of Pinetree Lane in Palm Coast, and his 16-year-old brother, approached the cookie stand, which was handled by  one member of the Ketchum family—parent Lisa Ketchum, 47–and others, including two girl scouts. Ketchum’s husband, Thomas, 49, and their 15-year-old son, happened to be shopping inside Walmart just then.  Thomas had had open-heart surgery the previous Wednesday.

According to the Flagler County Sheriff’s arrest and incident reports, based on statements by those at the scene and surveillance video, Erin Kennedy, the mother of Daniel and the younger boy, along with her sons, “confronted the Girl Scout leaders over money that was possibly stolen or loaned several months prior by one of the other Girl Scouts,” a report states. As Lisa Ketchum explained it, the family told her that “one of the Girl Scouts owed their sister $20 from a previous incident involving their respective daughters, who were acquaintances.”

The debt, dating back to October, had nothing to do with the Girl Scouts or with cookies. The money was privately borrowed. 

Erin Kennedy told them she was suffering financially and was owed $20. The “ladies at the table” told her they could not give her $20, as it did not involve Girl Scout business. So she and her sons asked for the equivalent in cookies. They were told that couldn’t be done, either. At that point, Daniel, according to a report, began balling his fist and punching his palm intimidatingly as he faced Lisa and others at the booth, then he and his brother allegedly attacked the cookie booth, “destroying” it. About that time Lisa’s husband Thomas walked out of Walmart, noticed the commotion, then tried to stop the Kennedy boys from leaving before deputies arrived, only to be allegedly attacked and struck by both of them. Daniel was reportedly furious that the cops were being called. 

The Ketchums’ 15-year-old son was also attacked and pushed against the concrete wall, so was Lisa, who was reportedly struck in the head and face.

The Kennedys’ mother had a recollection of the incident different from all those by witnesses. She claimed her sons did become agitated and knock boxes off the table, but that they were calm and apologized, and picked up the boxes. Video surveillance shows no such evidence of contrition, deputies noted, though a witness at the scene said there was at least some attempt to pick up boxes, but some of the boxes had already been damaged. Boxes cost roughly $4. 

In the surveillance footage, the deputy reports, “you can slightly make out the flailing arm movements of one of the males knocking the cookies off of the table and then immediately the incident escalates and numerous people run to the location of the Girl Scouts to aid in their defense from the males. There is no portion of the video that shows any de-escalation by the males during the altercation.”

The younger Kennedy said he knocked boxes off the table and walked away, then returned to the scene when he saw his brother in the altercation, so he joined the confrontation. He said Thomas Ketchum struck him. “Ketchum Sr grabbed the grocery cart belonging to the Kennedy family in an attempt to keep them on scene,” a report states, “and his actions of grabbing the cart enraged Daniel [and his younger brother] thus starting the physical altercation. No information obtained indicated Ketchum Sr physically touched either male prior to him being struck by the males numerous times.”

Angela Bull-Winternheimer, a 49-year-old resident of Palm Coast’s R-Section, was selling cookies with the Ketchums when the incident occurred, and reported that initially, when the Kennedys were told they could not take cookie boxes, the Kennedys did so and put them in their shopping cart, then knocked all the cookie boxes off the table—and knocked over the table as well. She corroborated accounts of the Kennedys striking every member of the Ketchum family.

“It was very scary,” she said in a subsequent interview, noting that a Walmart loss-prevention employee and people driving by came to help right away, some of them stopping their cars in front of the store to jump out. 

Both younger and older Ketchum males were hospitalized. The younger suffered a contusion and abrasion on the left side of his head and was to be under observation for a concussion. “Ketchum Sr. did not suffer any injuries to his area of open heart surgery during this incident but it did have to be re bandaged by medical Personnel,” the report states.

“The scene itself was mass chaos with a table flipped over, multiple boxes of Girl Scout cookies strewn all over the sidewalk and multiple frantic patrons,” the report found.

Daniel Kennedy declined to give statements. He was charged with three counts of battery and a count of disorderly conduct. His younger brother was also charged but remanded to his mother’s custody with a March 10 court date.  Daniel Kennedy was released on $1,500 bail.

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30 Responses for ““Mass Chaos” At Walmart Girl Scout Cookie Stand as Clash Turns Violent Over $20 Debt”

  1. Joe says:

    Gotta love Wal-Mart shoppers. I try to avoid the place like the plague.

  2. Rich Mikola says:

    Only in Palm Coast!!! Girl Scout mayhem at the cookie table.

  3. Irene says:

    All for $20? Wow. Now it’s gonna cost them $2,000 or more. #STUPID

  4. Sw says:

    Just another PC Hero tough guy. Punk. Over 20$ . Allegedly. Once again cant fix ignorant. Mom must be so proud.

  5. A.S.F. says:

    Palm Coast Drama. You can’t make this stuff up.

  6. palmcoast hero says:

    wow, .. a loser that curled up his. fists at a bunch of girl scouts? lmao what a man, … hahaha go big or go home, am I right? palm coast never ceases to amaze me.

  7. Denali says:

    What is this world turning into? Neither the Ketchum’s nor the Girl Scouts have any duty to the Kennedy woman. If she has an issue with another girl owing her money, take it to that girl or her family, not some totally unrelated people or organization. And then to get violent over $20? Great life lessons to be teaching the kids Ms Kennedy. Too bad the mother cannot be charged with failure to properly raise children.

  8. Dawn Smith says:

    How do we raise our Kids today, Parents are just as bad. what ever happened to stay calm and move on??

  9. Common Sense says:


  10. FLNATIVE says:

    You can’t make this stuff up. In the words of Jack Nicholson’s joker “this town needs an enema”.

  11. woodchuck says:

    Class act at its best.Parents are supposed set an example FAIL!!!!

  12. Anony says:

    Just more reason to avoid Walmart.I personally avoid the GS cookie stands. Hubby is diabetic and I was chased across a parking lot once by several GS demanding I buy cookies. I was a Girl Scout and I sold cookies and the behavior I have witnessed during cookie season is appalling.

  13. Komodo Dragon says:

    Some of the dumbest comments on articles are found here. Really, only in Palm Coast? Just because you are not aware of what occurs in other parts of the country, it doesn’t mean it only happens in Palm Coast. I make no judgment on the mom based on the information. The damn kids are out of control and parents can’t do much about it. They are minors and know the game better than most. Mom should not have posted bond but she made the typical emotional mistake. Leave his butt there and the other one will learn a lesson too. The momma didn’t get physical and I’m sure she regrets inquiring about the 20 bucks. She was probably just as shocked when these juvenile punks showed their stripes.

    Again, sadly, she did what most parents do and got him released. Do not bail or bond your kids so they learn a valuable lesson as I did with mine. I bonded him out once making a huge mistake. Second time, did 92 days with no contact from anyone. Ignored all calls but messages left were cries for release. Believe me it works like a charm. As parents, we tell our kids that the consequences are going to hurt us more than it’ll hurt them. That is when the true meaning of that statement defines itself. It hurts but you’ll hurt more if you don’t hold them accountable.

  14. Carol Fisher says:

    MANY years ago I was a “Girl Scout cookie mom”, which means I was in charge of the entire troop’s cookie sales, order placement, cash collection, and deliveries. Because I know the VOLUNTEER hours this takes, I always hand a $10 bill to the “cookie mom” outside Publix or Walmart. I don’t buy the cookies anymore. I just read this horrific story. These boys and their mother need to be JAILED–all over $20! And their mother defends them!!! SO glad that Walmart has video cameras that recorded this trashy behavior.

  15. Anonymous says:

    I’m speechless!

  16. Dave says:

    “It was very scary,”. Haha, cookie fight!!!

  17. beachcomberT says:

    I guess we can at least be thankful that no guns were used. This incident will travel far on the Internet, giving talk-show hosts one more tale of Flor-i-DUH

  18. Outsider says:

    You know, my first reaction is to complain about these jackasses and blame it all on Palm Coast. Okay, these guys ARE jackasses, but the stories about good people don’t generally make it into the paper. My wife and I were looking at a model home last week, and I left the lights on in my car. As we were chatting with the sales agent, a woman came in and asked if that was our car outside in the swale. I fully expected to hear it was being broken into or it was being torched in some gang initiation process or it was up on milk crates and the wheels were missing. (Okay, so I really live below my means and no one would really waste the time on those wheels since the trade-in value of the car is in double digits.) No, she just took time from her walk to come in and tell us our lights were on. That’s it; no crime was being perpetrated; there actually ARE decent people in Palm Coast!

  19. Anonymous says:

    I am really getting sick of the crap in this town. I have been here 30+ years and each year it HAS gotten worse. There is no respect for others and their properties. Thinking of getting out.

  20. A.S.F. says:

    Almost as sad as the incident itself is the spectacle of the posters on this forum who are making excuses for the unacceptable and irresponsible behaviors of both this young man and his parent. Shame on you!

  21. MannyHM says:

    Nothing to do with Wal-Mart shoppers. It has to do with somebody trying to extract blood from a turnip; it’s impossible.

  22. gmath55 says:

    There is a cookie monster!

  23. Traveling Rep says:

    Stay Classy Wal-Mart Shoppers!

  24. Ras says:

    2 punks that no doubt will be in jail soon they must hav great parents Who taught them to be respectful and not be a couple of idiots good riddance get them off the street

  25. #Bernie2020 says:

    Erin Kennedy told them she was suffering financially and was owed $20… So she and her sons asked for the equivalent in cookies.

    I’d put them in jail just for that.

  26. Brian McKay says:

    And go where? This is not a Palm Coast issue, is an America issue. People throughout this country are learning that disrespect and all-about-me attitude. No politics, just people.

    It would take entirely too long to discuss the media, lifestyle, and politics that have lead to this, and even longer to discuss what should but will never be done to fix it. Society is going to hell and we’d all better get used to it in the short-term no matter how much we try to change it for the long-term.

  27. cls says:

    i’m not going to defend those teens. Boys at a certain age for some reason tend to go nuts around 18. But if the money was owed from months ago, it would have been nice if they had discussed it away from the GS cookie place and made arrangements. Nothing like borrowing money from someone and never paying them back… attacking someone because of it is awful though.

  28. julie Keith says:

    I have a hard time believing that the mother was financially struggling when she went and bonded her son out for $1,500 the very next morning also I thought that girl scouts were supposed to give to the Community not bully and steal from Little brownies Girl Scouts a couple years older than brownies supposed to be setting an example and instead a girl scout snatches money out of a ten year old girls and that is ridiculous nice girl this is a horrible thing that happened but Girl Scouts should setting an example setting an example not stealing from the community and bullying little girl after hearing this story I would never let my children I have 3 girls and none of them would ever be allowed to join girl scouts

  29. Richard Smith says:

    @ Julie Keith, What news article are you referring to? Not the one above otherwise I think you need to re-read the article above. No where does it state anything about Brownies stealing money or the Girl Scouts throwing punches.

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