Ex-RI lawmaker arrested on breaking-and-entering charge

EAST GREENWICH, R.I. (WPRI) — A troubled former Rhode Island lawmaker was arrested Monday in East Greenwich while still on probation in a separate assault case from earlier this year.

According to East Greenwich Police Det. Lt. Jeremy Fague, former House Minority Leader Robert Watson was charged with breaking and entering following an incident on South Pierce Road.

Fague said Watson was taken to Kent Hospital after his arrest and arraigned, and was later turned over to the ACI.

Watson was arraigned in court Tuesday and bail was set at $10,000 personal recognizance. He was also presented as a bail and probation violator. A judge ordered him held without bail.

Watson is due back in court Nov. 21 for a bail and probation violation hearing and again on Dec. 11 for a felony screening.

Back in May, Watson was arrested on an assault charge after another man told police Watson struck him with a padlock and later engaged him in a fistfight on someone’s front lawn.

Watson was previously arrested in May 2016 after East Greenwich police said he caused a scene and shattered a glass door at the Citizens Bank branch on Frenchtown Road.

In 2011, Watson was taken into custody in Connecticut on DUI and marijuana possession charges, but the case was later dropped.

The following year, he was pulled over in South Kingstown and charged with marijuana possession.

Watson, a lawyer, served in the General Assembly as a Republican from 1993 until 2012, when he retired.