Deputies say the Safety Harbor resident made his children watch.
By CHRIS TISCH
Published March 25, 2004
SAFETY HARBOR - A man was arrested Tuesday on charges that he forced his two young children to watch him beat his live-in girlfriend.
Pinellas sheriff's deputies say Scott E. Reed, 42, brought the children - a 3-year-old girl and a 2-year-old boy - out of their bedroom and into the living room of his Safety Harbor home while he punched and kicked the woman.
"He made a statement that he wanted the kids to see this and that's when he began hitting her and kicking her," said Sgt. Tim Goodman, a Sheriff's Office spokesman.
A passerby heard what sounded like a woman being beaten and told a nearby sheriff's deputy. Though both Reed and his girlfriend at first denied there had been any violence, the deputy noticed Reed had cuts on his knuckles and the woman had red marks on her face and neck.
"She was obviously afraid of him," Goodman said. "She said he kicked her so hard one time it knocked the wind out of her."
Reed was booked into the Pinellas County Jail on charges of aggravated domestic battery. The deputy also added two charges of child abuse for making the children watch the beating, arrest reports state.
He was being held at the jail Wednesday in lieu of $85,000 bail.
The woman sought a domestic violence injunction against Reed on Wednesday.
She is the third woman to seek an injunction against Reed in the past seven years. The details of those cases were not available Wednesday because the court files were given to a judge who is considering the most recent request for protection.
Court records show Reed has a history of beating women.
He has been arrested three previous times on domestic battery charges, though two of those cases were not pursued by prosecutors. He received probation in the third case after pleading no contest to the charge.
On Tuesday, his girlfriend told deputies that the violence began that morning. She said Reed yelled at her because there were dishes in the sink. That afternoon, he saw her talking to a friend in the street and ordered her into his vehicle.
When they got home, Reed started beating her, reports state.
When the deputy arrived, Reed was loading the two children into his pickup. Reed told the deputy that there had been an argument, but no violence. The deputy noticed cuts on Reed's hands near his knuckles, reports state.
The deputy went to the door. The woman answered and eventually acknowledged she had been abused. She said Reed beat her, then fetched the two youngsters from their bedroom and made them watch as he continued hitting and kicking her.
The deputy summoned paramedics, who evaluated the woman's injuries and asked her to ride with them to the hospital. She declined and said she would go on her own.
Goodman said the children were taken in by someone who appeared to be a friend of the woman. He said child protection investigators have been notified of the situation in the home.