Middlesboro woman faces assault, child abuse charges

MIDDLESBORO, Ky (WYMT) - One Bell County woman faces several charges, including child abuse. Middlesboro police took Joy Freeman into custody Monday evening shortly after 9:00 p.m.

45-year-old Joy Michelle Freeman faces multiple charges, including two counts of assault, 4th degree (child abuse). Middlesboro police say a family member tipped them off that her two grandchildren were in danger.

"A 13-year-old and another child had been struck with a belt on their legs, smacked in the face, threatened with a hammer and a knife," said Middlesboro Police Lieutenant Tom Busic.

Police say the children told them Freeman had threatened them further if they told anyone what she had done.

Already facing serious child abuse charges, Middlesboro Police say Freeman wasn't about to go quietly.

"While they were speaking with the children, the grandmother became very irate, very abusive toward the officers and toward the children as well," Busic said.

Freeman's father says his daughter is not capable of the crimes for which she is accused.

"I know that my daughter loves her grandchildren, and they are the most important thing in her life," said Joseph Letendre.

He says if anything, his daughter must have been trying to protect her grandchildren. He says police were too rough with Freeman when they made the arrest.

"The police officer just going to show that they was going to ... get her out of there one way or another," he said.

Freeman now faces additional charges that include resisting arrest, obstructing governmental operations, disorderly conduct and assault, 3rd degree for striking a police officer.

Police are not releasing information on the children at this time, but do say child protective services are working closely with the investigation.

Freeman herself declined our request for an interview from jail.

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