Greenfield woman charged with battery

GREENFIELD — A Greenfield woman faces a child abuse charge amid allegations she slapped a young boy repeatedly, leaving a dark bruise on his face, police said.

Marissa VanMeter, 23, was arrested Saturday on a felony count of battery, according to court records.

Police said they began investigating VanMeter in February after a 4-year-old boy left in her care told investigators the woman had slapped him three or four times.

The boy had been staying with VanMeter at her home in the first block of West Osage Street in Greenfield, police said.

The child’s mother called police after she found a dark bruise on the right side of the boy’s face when he returned home. Investigators said the mark was consistent with a handprint.

The child’s mother showed police text messages she’d exchanged with VanMeter in which she acknowledged she might have hit the child too hard, according to police reports.

When police spoke with VanMeter about the allegations, she told them she struck the boy twice because he was disobeying her, police said.

She told officers she was 32 weeks pregnant at the time of the incident, and she became concerned about the safety of her unborn child because the boy was scratching and kicking her, according to police reports. 

VanMeter faces a Level 5 felony charge of battery on a child resulting in bodily injury.

She was arrested Saturday night and held in the Hancock County Jail for less than half an hour before being released on $5,000 cash bond, records show.

The Level 5 felony she faces carries a penalty of one to six years.

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Caitlin VanOverberghe is a reporter at the Greenfield Daily Reporter. She can be reached at 317-477-3237 or cvanoverberghe@greenfieldreporter.com.