Local police officer arrested after child found with severe bruises: What we know now

The alleged child victim of a Clay Twp. police officer arrested for domestic violence had severe bruising on the face caused by an open-handed slap, according to court records.

Here’s what we know about the allegations:

ExploreMORE POPULAR STORIES: Feds: Busted California drug supplier helps in sting of alleged Dayton dealer

The allegations

Martin D. Stringfellow, 47, was alleged to have hit the child on May 8 at a home in Brookville, according to court documents filed in the western division of Montgomery County Municipal Court.

Stringfellow was arrested Wednesday and booked into the Montgomery County Jail after a weeklong investigation, according to Brookville police records. He pleaded not guilty Thursday while appearing in court via video and was released from jail. A pretrial conference is scheduled for June 4.

A message left with the law firm representing Stringfellow was not returned.

Chief: Officer will be on leave

Clay Twp. police Chief John Van Gundy said Friday that Stringfellow, a veteran of 20 years, will be on administrative leave until the criminal case concludes.

Van Gundy said an internal affairs investigation will be completed after that. He declined to comment specifically about Stringfellow’s case but said the department has 10 full- or part-time officers so it won’t be short-handed.

ExploreMORE POPULAR STORIES: Feds: Indiana man uses 37 fake $20 bills at Dayton Dragons game

How the investigation started

A Brookville officer was dispatched to a Brookville elementary school on May 9 to assist the Children Service Bureau with a case of possible child abuse and spoke to the school’s principal, according to records.

A school counselor told police that the child at first denied how the injury occurred but later said the striking happened after the child got out of bed during the night to get a stuffed animal out of the closet, according to a complaint and affidavit.

The complaint said the child was spanked on the butt and slapped in the face. Stringfellow told a Children Services case worker that he did spank the child three or four times and then accidentally hit the child’s face. Old bruises were found on the child’s behind, according to the complaint.

ExploreMORE POPULAR STORIES: Alleged pimp on trial: One woman tells of rape, beatings; another testifies she was held in dog cage

What the officer said

Stringfellow told police he and his live-in girlfriend put the child to bed at 9:30 p.m. and returned at 10 p.m. to find the child in a closet and got no reasoning as to why.

Stringfellow told an officer on May 9 that the child was resisting and moved around, and that’s when the accidental slap happened, the affidavit said. Stringfellow also told the officer he was too emotional to complete a written statement that day.

Written statements from Stringfellow and his girlfriend were received by email, according to the complaint. On Wednesday, Brookville officers received notice from the city prosecutor to proceed with a domestic violence charge.

Van Gundy brought Stringfellow to the Brookville police station so he could surrender. Stringfellow turned in his Glock with three magazines and four rounds of .45 caliber ammunition, according to the complaint.

About the Author