Woman accused of threat on daycare free on bond - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

Woman accused of threat on daycare free on bond

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SCOTTSBORO, AL (WAFF) -

A Scottsboro woman who was arrested and charged with making a terroristic threat was released on bond Thursday.

Scottsboro police arrested 48-year-old Michelyn McNeal late Wednesday afternoon. She's charged with making a terroristic threat and menacing.

Daycare employees called Scottsboro Police Tuesday afternoon after a teacher saw the woman with a gun in a neighboring yard. Students said she allegedly threatened to shoot them if they let a football hit the adjoining fence.

The daycare's playground backs up to the woman's yard, and the two are separated by the fence. Children between the ages of five and 12 were playing football on the playground when the ball hit the fence that's shared with the woman's house. That's when she went outside and warned the kids to stop letting the ball hit the fence.

The children went on playing, and several minutes later, the ball hit the fence again. That's when the woman allegedly went outside with a long gun, loaded it in front of the children and told them she would shoot if it happened again.

The teacher saw the woman with the gun and called police. Officers responded, but no charges were filed against the woman on Tuesday. This angered several parents. "She should have been arrested Tuesday," said parent Dena Swearengin. "Having a gun and bringing it around children, that's reckless endangerment."

Lieutenant Scott Matthews with Scottsboro Police explained why that didn't happen. "You have to have evidence and probable cause. That's what we were trying to determine. We didn't quite have that Tuesday without going further into the investigation."

"It's hit home for all of us, and put a lot of fear in us," said daycare owner Erica Owens. "We want to make sure this is taken care of, and reassure the parents that we will go to all extremes within the law to make sure this doesn't happen again."

Owens held a meeting with parents Wednesday night, discussing potential safety measures to prevent future incidents. Among the possible solutions was a plan to install a tall fence that would prevent people from even looking into the daycare's yard.

The daycare was on lockdown Wednesday, and the children were not allowed to play outside.

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