(NEW YORK) — A teacher has been arrested after allegedly knocking out a 12-year-old student’s tooth with his elbow and throwing a basketball at him in a fit of rage, police say.
The alleged assault took place at the Putnam Academy of Arts and Science School in Palatka, Florida — some 60 miles south of Jacksonville and 100 miles north of Orlando — sometime during the school day on Monday, according to a statement from the Palatka Police Department in the aftermath of the incident.
Police first learned about the alleged assault at approximately 4:20 p.m. on Monday when they were called to a residence on Belmont Drive in reference to a report of battery which took place at the school earlier in the day.
“When the officers arrived, they made contact with [the boy’s mother]. [She] informed the officers her 12-year-old son had been struck earlier in the day by a teacher identified as James Bellamy,” the Palatka Police Department said in their statement. “[She] had been shown a video of her son and Bellamy playing basketball. The video showed Bellamy throwing the ball at her son and then later elbowing him in the mouth which knocked the child’s tooth out.”
Officers subsequently talked with the 12-year-old boy who was able to confirm to them what his mother had said and said that “Bellamy had gotten angry at him because Bellamy believed he had intentionally struck his arm or head while they were playing,” according to authorities.
“The child told Officers Bellamy called him back out onto the court and then threw the ball at him, but he was able to duck and not get hit by it,” the statement continued. “The child said he and Bellamy then started playing and then Bellamy struck him in the face with his elbow which knocked his tooth out.”
Authorities subsequently relocated to a residence on Napoleon Street where they made contact with Bellamy, who was advised of his rights and questioned by the Palatka Police Department about the incident.
“Bellamy informed the officers he was playing basketball with some students. He said the victim had hit him while playing so he called him back out onto the court. He said he threw the ball at the victim but when his elbow hit the child it was not intentional,” read the Palatka Police Department statement.
Bellamy was then placed under arrest for child abuse and battery and booked into the Putnam County Jail and is currently being held on no bond.
No court date has been announced yet and the investigation into the alleged assault is currently ongoing.
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