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“I understand they were in the wrong, but there are other ways to handle it,” Paul Bowler, father to two of the boys, told a local radio station. “[Daniels] knew who the kids were. It’s not like they were strangers. And send the kids home and call the cops then. You don’t sit there and torment them and tell them you’re going to bash their skulls in with a hammer.”

Sorry, pops, but yes you do, especially since the boys were already bashing away.

The boys, because they are so young, are getting off rather mildly, being charged in family court with burglary and criminal mischief.

“I git it,” Big Mama said. “Thay’s only about 2,000 people in Clyde, so ain’t many strangers around. But those boys crossed that line, that double yellow line, while dat man was tryin’ to protect hisself and the property dim boys was bustin’ up.”

The hooligans had spray-painted graffiti derogatory to women on walls and busted windows and walls with the hammers.

“Fix up that place, dat’s what thay parents and the f-a-m-i-l-y court should make ‘em do over the summer,” Big Mama suggested. “And Mister, Mr. Daniels, showed da parents how to discipline knuckleheaded boys, who shoulda been headin’ toward the bed at 9 o’clock at night.”

And, winking at the griot who passed the Clyde story her way, Big Mama said, “Dat’ll take care of their ‘how I spent my summer vacation’ assignment.”

Deborah Simmons can be reached at