A Mexico Beach police officer is being charged with child abuse.
Gulf County sheriff's investigators arrested 34-year-old Timothy E. Maestri based on a complaint filed on January 17 by the Florida Department of Children and Families.
The initial report was that Maestri had beaten his 11-year-old son. Investigators say they found bruises on the boy’s neck and face.
Maestri said he was teaching his son self-defense techniques, and the boy did not block one of his punches.
Based on their findings, Gulf County deputies filed the abuse charge against Maestri. He was booked into the Gulf County Jail in Port St. Joe, then released on his own recognizance.
Child abuse is a third degree felony punishable by up to five years in prison.