A 17-year-old broke a television, got upset and then took out his frustrations on a vacuum cleaner.
A 24-year-old woman in the house responded to the second broken appliance by grabbing the boy by the back of the neck and scratching him, deputies said.
She would later be arrested on a count of child abuse.
Tracy Lauren Fink, of 10381 Elgin Blvd., was booked shortly before 3:45 p.m. Monday at the Hernando County Jail. She was released later that day after posting $2,500 bail.
Hernando County Sheriff's Deputy Brian Smith responded to the house following initial reports of a domestic battery.
Both Fink and the teen argued about the broken television, deputies said.
The teen responded by breaking the vacuum cleaner, which caused multiple pieces to come loose and fall to the floor, according to the sheriff's office.
The boy picked up the pieces and carried them in his arms toward the trash can in the kitchen. One of the pieces slipped out of his arms and fell on Fink's leg, deputies said.
She reacted by walking up behind him, grabbing him by his neck and scratching him, Smith wrote in his report.
The teen, in self-defense, put Fink in a headlock to prevent her from battering him further, deputies said.
The boy suffered two large red scratches on the right side of his neck, Smith stated.
One of Fink's relatives, who saw her attack the boy, told Smith what she had witnessed, according to an arrest affidavit.
Fink said the boy attacked her first, which contradicted what the witness reported, deputies said.
The sheriff's office wouldn't disclose whether Fink and the teen were related.
The formal charge filed against Fink was cruelty toward a child, abuse without great harm. If convicted of the third-degree felony, she faces up to five years in prison.
Fink's criminal history includes a September 2011 arrest on drug possession charges, but the case was dropped three months ago by the State Attorney's Office, according to court records.