Meranda Aleese Bell
Photo: Gwinnett County Sheriff's Office
Photo: Gwinnett County Sheriff's Office

Gwinnett woman charged with child cruelty after beating son with belt, police say

A Gwinnett County mother is behind bars after allegedly beating her 8-year-old son with a metal belt buckle as punishment, police said.

Meranda Aleese Bell, 28, was arrested Monday by Duluth police after they received a call about possible child abuse.

Gwinnett County’s Division of Family and Children Services was called by an employee at Chattahoochee Elementary School who noticed an injury on the student’s back that appeared to have been caused by a belt buckle, Duluth police spokesman Officer Ted Sadowski said.

After school, officers went to the child’s day care on Albion Farm Road to investigate, where Bell told them she beat her son with the belt after she caught him stealing money from her purse, police said.

The woman told officers she made her son hold a push-up or plank position and then struck him with the belt when he moved, police said. 

Bell was arrested on one count of cruelty to children, but not for the first time. In April 2018, the mother was charged with two counts of second-degree child cruelty, jail records show.

Gwinnett police made the previous arrest, but authorities declined to provide more information, citing a state law that restricts the release of records in child abuse cases. 

Bell remains held at the Gwinnett County jail without bond. 

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