Amesbury, MA — An Amesbury police officer was arrested on Tuesday and charged with crimes related to the alleged beating of a 14-year-old autistic boy.
According to the Essex District Attorney’s Office, officer Larry Bybee arrested on Tuesday and charged with two counts of assault and battery on a child—his own son. The court issued a restraining order against Bybee and he was ordered to stay away from his children, alcohol, and drugs during his arraignment.
According to NBC10, court documents show the alleged incident happened at Bybee’s home in Amesbury on June 13. It was reported to the New Hampshire Division of Children, Youth and Families the following day since Bybee’s son lives in New Hampshire half of the time with Bybee’s ex-wife.
NBC10 Boston reportedly reached the boy’s mother by phone. She said she’s “at a loss for words” over the incident.
According to court documents, Bybee punched his autistic son in the nose so hard, it gave him a bloody nose. He then followed his son to the bathroom as he tried to get away and then smashed his head into the wall three times.
Bybee’s son told investigators that the incident was sparked over an issue with a milk container. According to his son, Bybee made fun of his son’s speech impediment and verbally abused him as well, calling him derogatory names.
According to state police documents, Bybee’s son told police his father “scolded and mocked” him before punching him in the face and giving him a bloody nose.
The boy’s story was corroborated by his younger sister, who told police she witnessed the attack and could tell her father was drunk. The boy also reported the incidents to a DCYF representative at his high school, according to the Newbury Port News.
According to police, the incident in which Bybee bloodied his son’s nose happened on June 13 while his son was visiting him. Bybee is divorced and he and his ex-wife have split custody.
The assault was originally reported by a family member who witnessed the abuse. Amesbury police Chief William Scholtz said that upon receiving the report, he immediately contacted state police detectives with the DA’s office.
On June 14, Bybee was placed on paid administrative leave. He has been currently enjoying a taxpayer funded vacation for the allegations and will continue to do so until he goes to court on July 12.
Scholtz told reporters that he was surprised by the allegations. “At the same time, we take the allegations seriously and those are the actions we took,” Scholtz said.
What’s more ominous is the fact that Bybee was a school resource officer from 2014 to 2017 when he quit last year for unknown reasons. If he is willing to do this to his own son, imagine how many other potential victims there may be.
According to Scholz, however, Bybee’s decision to quit being a school resource officer last year had nothing to do with the charges he faces today.
“How can I trust him to protect our children when he’s accused of something like that?” asked Bybee’s neighbor, Rose Elyse.
Bybee walked out of the jail Tuesday after prosecutors declined to set an amount for bail and allowed the alleged child abuser to go free on his own recognizance.