A Florida teacher has been charged with child abuse and battery after elbowing a student, knocking out a tooth, while playing basketball and throwing the ball at the boy during a game, police said.
James Bellamy was taken into custody Monday and allegedly admitted to the incident, the Palatka Police Department said.
Officers were initially called to a home and told by the 12-year-old boy’s mother that he’d been struck by a teacher at his school, Putnam Academy of Arts and Sciences in Palatka.
She said she was shown a video of Bellamy and the boy playing basketball. Footage of the incident shows Bellamy throw a ball at the boy and later elbows him in the mouth, resulting in one of the child’s teeth being knocked out, police said.
The child confirmed what happened to the officers, authorities said. He said Bellamy had gotten angry at him because the teacher believed the boy intentionally struck his arm or head while they were playing.
“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,” a police statement said. “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.”
The officers visited Bellamy, who confirmed what had happened. He said the boy hit him and that he called him back onto the basketball court. He said he threw the ball at the child, but it was not intentional.
Bellamy is being held in the local jail on no bail.
Putnam Academy of Arts and Sciences did not immediately respond to Fox News Digital’s request for comment.