Judge decides punishment in Spanish Springs seat-saving arrest

Bruce Benard
Bruce Benard

A 67-year-old Village of Hillsborough man will escape prosecution in a Spanish Springs Town Square seat-saving incident.

Bruce Raymond Benard had faced a charge of battery in connection with the June 1 incident.

However, under a deal struck in Lake County Court, Benard will enter into a pre-trial intervention program. 

Benard has been ordered to perform 35 hours of community service and undergo eight hours of anger management training. He must have no contact with the woman he was charged with attacking. If he completes the terms of the agreement, the case will be dismissed.

Benard had been accused of grabbing the wrist of a 72-year-old Villages woman “very hard” and stomping on her left foot two times in an attempt to remove her from a chair, according to a report from the Lady Lake Police Department. He objected to the woman sitting in the chair, because he had “saved” the seat. Seat-saving is not permitted at the town squares.

You can read more about the original arrest HERE

The woman later wrote a letter to Judge James R. Baxley and said she wanted her medical expenses paid by Benard, but she did not want to see him fined or spending time behind bars.

“The rage, anger and physical attack displayed by Mr. Benard indicates that he had no control over his behavior. I truly believe that no individual wants to behave in this manner,” she wrote in her letter.

Benard was represented by criminal defense attorney J. Scott Herman, who last year represented a line dancer who was charged with punching a woman at Spanish Springs Town Square. Herman was successful in negotiating an anger management class for the line dancer. She completed the course and was able to avoid prosecution. You can read more about that case HERE