Deputies: Lutz mom falsely accused Veterans Elementary teacher of abusing son

WESLEY CHAPEL — A mother was arrested on charges of filing a false police report after she told deputies a teacher shook her 6-year-old son.

"I knew what I saw," Michele Bella, 41, told the deputy who arrested her Monday, according to the Pasco County Sheriff's Office report.

Bella was at Veterans Elementary School on Sept. 27 to have lunch with her son, who is in the first grade.

She claimed she saw a teacher yelling at her son for running in the cafeteria, grabbed him by the shoulders and shook him, a report states. The teacher denied touching the child.

Bella reported the incident to the principal and superintendent but was not satisfied with the response, so that evening she called the Sheriff's Office. A deputy came to her home in Lutz and took her statement. But the deputy investigated the alleged incident and viewed a video of the school lunchroom, which shows the interaction between the teacher and the child without any signs of abuse, according to the deputy's report.

Bella "willfully conveyed false information in a child abuse report," the Sheriff's Office states.

Deputies tried multiple times to get in contact with Bella and reached her Monday, which is why there was a delay between the incident date and arrest date, according to the Sheriff's Office.

Bella, an information technology consultant, was released from the Pasco jail Tuesday on $150 bail. She did not return a call Tuesday to comment for this story.

Deputies: Lutz mom falsely accused Veterans Elementary teacher of abusing son 11/08/11 [Last modified: Tuesday, November 8, 2011 6:14pm]

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