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Man charged with cruelty toward child

By Staff | Dec 22, 2011

A Cape Coral man is accused of hitting his son on the back after the child reportedly broke the water pipe on the top of the home water heater.

Thomas Lee Scheurell II, 33, was arrested and charged Saturday with one count of cruelty toward child, act that could result in physical mental injury. As of Thursday, Scheurell remained at the Lee County Jail on $1,500 bond.

Cape police responded to an apartment in the 800 block of Miramar Street after receiving a call about a child bleeding from his nose. The caller said the father was yelling and hitting the boy, and water was pouring out the home.

Officers arrived and met with a woman and her two children. She explained that her son was climbing on the water heater in the closet when he grabbed the water pipe on the heater, breaking the line, according to a police report.

She ran to the office to try and get help and left Scheurell behind with the children. When she returned, Scheurell told her that he was leaving and took off in the car. Her son was crying because Scheurell had just spanked him.

Police spoke with the boy, who reportedly stated that he fell to the floor when the pipe broke and hit his nose, which started to bleed. He said his dad got angry and hit him on the back, but he kept slipping on the watery floor.

Officers observed several red marks in the middle of the boy’s back, and there were two places where the skin was broken and they could see blood.

While police were still on scene, Scheurell returned and began yelling at his son. He reportedly told police that he “whooped” his child’s butt after he broke the pipe. Scheurell said he disciplined him for “destroying the house.”

According to the report, Scheurell said he might have hit the child on the back once or twice. He added that he was not sorry for hitting his son, that his son is a “really bad child” and that the child is “always misbehaving.”

Scheurell was taken into custody by police and charged.

The Department of Children and Families responded to the residence and opened an investigation into the incident, the police report states.

He has a court appearance scheduled Jan. 17.