A University of Delaware police officer accused of hitting his autistic son with a belt is charged with child abuse.

The News Journal of Wilmington cites court documents that say an investigation into 29-year-old Bernard Innocent began last November. The documents say the child told school staff he was spanked with a belt because he smeared feces on the walls at home. They say the child walked with a limp after the spanking.

The child was examined by hospital staff while New Castle County Police interviewed the mother, who confirmed it and said it wasn't the first time Innocent has used a belt to hit their children.

The newspaper could not reach Innocent for comment. He was released on bail Thursday and issued a no-contact order.


Information from: The News Journal of Wilmington, Del., http://www.delawareonline.com