Jessica McCraney is a 42-year-old resident of Garden Lane in west Bunnell. Sidney McCraney is her 49-year-old husband. Monday evening, both ended up at the Flagler County jail, Sidney facing a domestic battery charge, Jessica facing two felony charges, including battery on a person older than 65–her mother in law–and child abuse.
They were released on Tuesday. Often in cases of abuse the person facing the charge is under court order to have no contact with the alleged victims. In this case, Jessica McCraney was allowed to return home, under orders to have no “violent” contact with the victims.
The incident started when two brothers, 13 and 11, got into an argument over soda. One of them was drinking the other’s drink. One of the boys threw a soda can in the living room. It burst all over the other boy. His maternal grandmother, who is 70, got upset that he used clean towels to clean himself up and slapped him. He punched her in the mouth with the same hand holding an unopened can of soda.
When Jessica got home and learned of the incident, she allegedly took a belt to the 13-year-old boy, and along the way got into an argument with the boys’ paternal grandmother (both grandmothers live at the house), allegedly striking her in the arm. The in-law had been upset that Jessica was cursing at her son while disciplining him, and of picking on one boy over the other.
Sidney got home as all that was unfolding. He described the scene as “everyone screaming and fighting,” according to an arrest report, with Jessica hitting one of her sons “for no apparent reason.” Sidney stepped between mother and child and got struck on the leg, “inadvertently,” the arrest report states. According to Jessica’s account to Flagler County Sheriff’s deputies, Sidney then “grabbed the belt out of her hands and proceeded to strike her multiple times with the belt.” She had several visible bruises on her right arm. Sidney told deputies he never struck Jessica, but took the boys to Shell Bluff, where they had dinner.
Deputies placed the two parents under arrest and notified the Department of Children and Families, which will be conducting its own investigation.
Sheriff Rick Staly described it as “a family free-for-all that resulted in half of the household going to jail.” He noted that “We’re living in exceptionally high-stress times right now and it is important to practice self-control and de-escalate the situation before it turns violent. I hope that this family is able to heal from this and gets help for anger management.”
On Wednesday, his agency issued a lengthy release noting an increase in domestic violence and road rage incidents locally, paralleling an increase across the nation, though crime remains historically low in the county.
“While always unacceptable behavior, the recent increases in these two offenses are believed to be influenced by individuals responding poorly to Covid-19 stress and pressures which are significant and prolonged in nature,” the release states. The pandemic has compelled people to stay at home more often and to be more on-edge than normal, sometimes resulting in violent outbursts, introducing a knife or gun in an argument or resulting in road rage incidents.”
So it’s ok to punch the grandmother in the face?? Wow. This isn’t stress being home from covid. My kids are perfectly fine home and know better. Though I never took a belt to any of them there has got to be some kind of discipline allowed and sometimes it’s getting hit.
Sure thing sheriff, blame the virus right off the bat. What evidence do you have that this is true in this situation? However, it does fit right into the party line about how we have to open up the economy, ‘people are dying from things worse than the virus’.
From what we are told here, sounds more like a wack-a-nut family that has no moral compass; Two kids squabbling over something (okay, that happens quite often), but then a grandmother slapping a child, a kid punching his grandmother with a soda can in his fist, a mother striking her son with a belt, dad taking the belt and hitting his wife – my lord, these people are not the most sane among us. I would be willing to bet that this is not the first time that violence has broken out in this household.
I agree that this is a terrible event and that some people are feeling a greater level of self-induced stress these days but for a non-qualified person to lay blame on the virus for these actions is simply untenable. A sheriff should know better than to fan the flames of a political controversy.
Lance Carroll says
Strength and love to this family.
Family tree says
Granny taught mommy. Mommy & daddy taught kids. Won’t be long before kids grow up & beat heir wife & kids. Gotta love Burnell!
Sheriff Rick Staly described it as “a family free-for-all that resulted in half of the household going to jail.
OMG , the sheriff in town will nock you down! and lock you up, I have never heard of a more know it all argent, threating law enforcement officer in my life.
Merrill S Shapiro says
Defunding police does not mean “abolishing” police! It means, using some of the funds earmarked for policing be used to employ, for example, a social worker! If a social worker had been along for the ride in the patrol car with the Sheriff’s Deputies, I am suggesting–and only suggesting–that this would have turned out a lot differently, saving the taxpayers of Flagler County a significant amount of money.
Dee Smade says
Clearly for that child to punch the grandmother there’s something really wrong in that house.
This has little to nothing to do with COVID. This sounds like it has been going on a long time.
Flagler is very fortunate to have such a compassionate, yet very competent Sheriff!!
Maybe you need to follow up on your article Sidney Mccraney never struck her and no domestic violence on his part he was released had no bail .So just like a lot of guys getting accused of domestic violence .Law enforcement needs to adjust situation before always wanting to charge anyone with domestic violence .Why?Because it gets in the media and everyone thinks one or the other is an abuser and it’s not always the case .
little one says
Really over a can of soda !!!!!
Trailer Bob says
Humans can only take so much, and it seems that I am not the only one who is getting a little…let’s say short-fused. For probably at least two years now, I have had to listen to some idiot at my local watering hole that just cannot shut up, talking about conspiracy theories, banging on tables, and being generally loud and annoying. The other day I let go and melted down on the guy. He deserved it, but I had always been quiet about his loud and obnoxious persona. So yes, we can only take so much and now it is getting a little more difficult to hold it back.
Pressure in, pressure out as they say.
Today this newspaper told of a family that went ballistic on each other in Flagler County. I see this happening more and more as the weird strain continues to eat away at people. So at some point the professionals (?) are going to have to find another way to deal with this “flu” dash “virus”.
Perhaps they can start by being honest. There seems to be some realistic theory that cases are being counted more than once, people who had serious medical conditions are being chalked up as dying from the virus. Record keeping seems to be very poor in some cases, etc. And the theories change on a daily basis.
There is also the allegation that medical providers, hospitals, get paid way, way more if the documentation mentions “COVID-19 somewhere. So it goes. Hope this comes to an end soon, or we just might see a new normal that isn’t so normal after all.
It’s not the parents who should be arrested in this case. It’s the child who punched his grandmother in the face. Kudos to the parent for disciplining the child before he grows up to be a hoodlum. I would of beat his backside too had he been my child and put his hands on an adult. I got my backside beat when I was younger and I grew up just fine. I would of never back talked an adult let alone put my hands on them. What makes these kids think that kind of behavior is okay? They are lucky they aren’t mine cause as soon as I got out of jail they would get it again.
Happening now says
Stress is high now. There are many families in Palm Coast trying to manage 3 generations in one place. Prayers for them and all families trying to get to solutions without anger.