Thursday, June 21, 2018
Public safety

Police say Port Richey woman blocked any help for stabbed teen

Editor's note: The Pinellas-Pasco State Attorney's Office dropped the charges against Tonya Clem on May 29, 2013.

PORT RICHEY — A 16-year-old boy stabbed himself in the abdomen Saturday night during an argument with a woman who told him he didn't deserve to live, authorities said.

Tonya Clem, 43, was charged with aggravated child abuse. Port Richey Police say she did nothing to get the boy help, and then tried to block a friend's efforts to get him medical care.

Police did not disclose the relationship between the woman and the boy, but they share a residence.

A police report says Clem and the teen got into an argument Saturday night and she called him a piece of waste and said pieces of waste don't deserve to live. The boy went into his bedroom to escape the yelling and tried to kill himself, police said.

About an hour later, the report said, Clem sent a text message asking a family friend to come over because the house was a "war zone" and she wanted help to "kick his (expletive)."

The friend came over and saw the boy's wound, blood and a bloody knife in plain view, police said. Clem saw those things, too, but continued to berate the boy, the friend told police. She refused to let him call for help.

"All attempts to call for medical help for the child were blocked by (Clem) until (the friend) lied to (Clem) and told her he would take the child to his home and not contact anyone," the police report said. Once they left the house at 5148 Bay Blvd., the friend took the teen to Morton Plant North Bay Hospital. The boy was later transported to St. Joseph's Hospital for surgery.

Clem was arrested early Sunday and was released from the Land O'Lakes jail after posting $10,000 bail. Records show she had a previous arrest on Christmas Eve 2011 on a charge of assault on a health care practitioner. That charge was changed to disorderly conduct, and Clem pleaded no contest last April.

Clem did not return a call Monday. The Florida Department of Health web site says she is a certified respiratory therapist with a license in good standing.

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