Democrat chair resigns over teen battery | RecordCourier.com

Democrat chair resigns over teen battery

Staff Reports

Paul Belt has resigned as chairman of the Douglas County Democratic Central Committee following an incident in which he admitted battering his 15-year-old son in front of a high school junior varsity soccer team.

In a letter Friday to The Record-Courier, Belt, 45, said he resigned the chairmanship “after my regrettable actions.”

Deputies were called to Douglas High School at 5:20 p.m. Oct. 22 after witnesses reported a domestic battery in progress. Belt allegedly punched his son several times after he discovered the victim was no longer a member of the boys’ junior varsity soccer team.

According to reports, Belt was confrontational with coaches who were explaining why his son had been dropped from the team. He was asked to leave campus.

“I also want to clarify that I was not angry with my son for being kicked off the soccer team. It was frustration over a series of incidents with the coaches in a two-week span.

“That does not in any way excuse my actions. I apologize publicly to my son, my family, to all the people who had to witness my horrible behavior, and to all of Douglas County for the impact that my actions are having on the community. Please understand I am very distraught over the situation I created,” Belt wrote in his letter.

Witness said they saw Belt punch his son in the head from behind, knee him and kick him in the side. Coaches ran to intervene when Belt reportedly threw the victim on the hood of a car.

Belt left the scene turned himself in at the sheriff’s office.

“I began to yell at my son and lost my cool and punched him with a closed fist about five or six times in his chest, shoulders and back,” Belt told deputies, according to reports.

He pleaded guilty Wednesday to battery that constitutes domestic violence.

“I want to thank all the people who are helping my son and my family through this period. I also want to thank the people who have offered me kind words of encouragement,” Belt wrote.

“The Douglas County Sheriff’s Office and East Fork Justice EnEarl were extremely professional and kind to me,” Belt said.

EnEarl sentenced Belt to 32 days in Douglas County Jail on Wednesday, suspended for one year, and ordered him to attend 26 weeks of domestic violence counseling.

EnEarl fined Belt $332 and lifted a no-contact order with the victim.

He set a review for Feb. 8.

“This incident should in no way reflect the ideals of the Douglas County Democratic Central Committee, and I am mortified to have brought any disgraceful association to this organization,” Belt wrote in his letter to be published Wednesday.