Broward County

A 6-year-old boy guessed on his homework. That led to the arrest of a Florida man

Clement Leo Watkins’ booking photo on Nov. 20, 2018.
Clement Leo Watkins’ booking photo on Nov. 20, 2018. Broward County Sheriff's Office

A 6-year-old boy was doing his homework when he came across a question he couldn’t answer.

So he guessed.

According to Sunrise police, this did not please Clement Leo Watkins.

The 44-year-old man from New York is accused of striking the boy in the head with a cellphone at a home in the 700 block of Southwest 148th Avenue on Nov. 3.

Police say the boy was in Watkins’ custody that day but did not clarify the relationship between the two.

Watkins was arrested and charged with child abuse without great bodily harm on Tuesday and is being held in Broward County’s Main Jail on $5,000 bond.

“The method of punishment for the child guessing on his homework is excessive,” the police report said.

According to the arrest affidavit, after Watkins struck the boy he told him to take a shower and clean up from a bleeding head wound. He did not take the child to a doctor.

The child had a “linear open skin wound” on the right side of his head, the Broward County Sheriff’s Child Protective Team later observed after visiting the home, where the boy corroborated the story of his punishment.

Watkins told officers that he tossed the phone up three flights of stairs and “the victim did not catch it, striking him in the head,” the report read.

Miami Herald Real Time/Breaking News reporter Howard Cohen, a 2017 Media Excellence Awards winner, has covered pop music, theater, health and fitness, obituaries, municipal government and general assignment. He started his career in the Features department at the Miami Herald in 1991.