'Angry' Florida teacher elbows 12-year-old during basketball game, knocking out his tooth: police

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A Florida teacher has found himself behind bars after allegedly throwing a basketball at a 12-year-old boy and elbowing him in the mouth, causing his tooth to be knocked out, according to police. 

James Bellamy was arrested and charged with child abuse and battery after the incident that unfolded on Monday afternoon at Putnam Academy of Arts and Science School in Palatka, according to the Palatka Police Department. 

A mom told police that her son was struck earlier that day by a teacher, ID'ed as Bellamy. There was a video of the incident, which showed the teacher throwing a basketball at the boy during a game, and then later elbowing him in the mouth, according to police. 

Photo: Putnam County Jail

When officers spoke to the boy, he confirmed what his mother told police, adding that Bellamy "had gotten angry at him because Bellamy believed he had intentionally struck his arm or head while they were playing." After the hit, the teacher called the boy back out onto the court and threw the ball at him, the boy told police. The boy said he was able to duck and not get hit by the ball, but was soon after struck in the face by Bellamy's elbow, which knocked his tooth out. 

Officers caught up with Bellamy at his house, where he was questioned. He told police that he was playing basketball with students. According to Bellamy, the 12-year-old boy hit him while playing, so he called him back out onto the court and that's when he threw the ball at him. Bellamy said it wasn't intentional. 


He was placed under arrest and was booked into the Putnam County Jail where he remains held without bond.