A police officer who was just hired back at Leadwood Police Department is facing a felony child abuse charge.
On Tuesday afternoon, St. Francois County Prosecuting Attorney Jerrod Mahurin charged Jay R. Bellis, 38, of Farmington, with the Class C felony of abuse of a child.
Bellis was just rehired at Leadwood Police Department on March 12 and soon after promoted to sergeant. According to his own Facebook page, he worked for St. Francois County Sheriff's Department from March of 2014 to Feb. 25. He worked for Leadwood before that from 2011 to last fall.
Mahurin said Bellis handed in his badge to Leadwood Police on Tuesday. As of press time, he had not turned himself in. Bond is set at $50,000. He turned himself in and bonded out April 2.
According to the probable cause statement, on Feb. 24, at his residence in Farmington, Bellis allegedly threw a four-year-old boy into a wall.
According to Farmington Police, Bellis admitted he lost his temper and threw the child, causing the child to strike his head on a kitchen cabinet inside their home. He also admitted he pulled the child by the ear after the child misbehaved at daycare and accidentally scratched it, causing it to bleed.