The 41-year-old son of Lou Bellamy, founder of the Penumbra Theatre in St. Paul, died while being held in the Hennepin County jail, a Sheriff's Office spokesman said Monday.
Lucas J. Bellamy of Minneapolis was found unresponsive in his cell Thursday afternoon, spokesman Jeremy Zoss said, and died that night. He had been jailed since July 18.
Family members said his death was likely connected to his chronic drug abuse.
"Medical aid was rendered by staff and paramedics," Zoss said. "They continued emergency medical treatment until he was pronounced dead."
Authorities had yet to comment on what led to Bellamy's death, which remains under investigation, Zoss said.
Family members said Bellamy was arrested in Maple Plain, and court records show he was charged with fleeing police in a suspected stolen vehicle and possession of brass knuckles.
"He was driving a car that didn't have any plates, which drew their attention, and he tried to flee," said his mother, painter Colleen Bellamy. He had a passenger in the car who was released by authorities.
"Lucas was under the influence, and they supposedly took him to HCMC, where he was observed for three hours," his mother said. "He had said something about ingesting some drugs."
Afterward, he was taken to jail, where he died.
"What the initial autopsy showed was that he had a common reaction, a violent reaction, to withdrawal from drugs," Lou Bellamy said. "He was put in a cell and was complaining of terrible stomach pain. There was a hole that developed in his duodenum during the withdrawal process. That's a common occurrence. He was fine on Wednesday, and then Thursday he was gone. He was never able to call us."
Lucas Bellamy's death left his high-profile Twin Cities family reeling Monday. His father, who also is a director, founded Penumbra Theatre, which gave two-time Pulitzer Prize winner August Wilson his first production. It is now run by Lou Bellamy's daughter, Sarah Bellamy, Lucas' older sister.
"This is not something any parent ever, ever wants to go through," Lou Bellamy said. Despite all his challenges, he said, "Lucas was just a real special guy."
Lucas Bellamy once served as the company manager at Penumbra, where he also was an actor. His best-known role was as a dorky janitor who transformed into a suave emcee in the 2007 musical "Get Ready." He later worked in construction.
"The acting — he would do because he was around it since he was a baby, but that wasn't his heart," his father said. "He liked to sweat and work and see the results of his labor right in front of him."
Lucas Bellamy struggled with alcohol addiction for 21 years, his mother said.
"When you're addicted to something, you do a lot of things to support that habit," his father added.
In 2019, Lucas Bellamy reportedly became addicted to opioids. His parents said they gave him the support they could and hoped that treatment would succeed.
"He was in and out of program after treatment program," Colleen Bellamy said. "The things he's gone through in the last 21 years, it's pretty much all been due to addiction. We're hoping that he's not crucified too badly by the press, because he was a lovely person who was sick and struggling with addiction."
After completing an inpatient program and then sober housing, he had recently moved in with a friend near the University of Minnesota. He was trying to rebuild his life and maintain his sobriety, his family said.
Lucas is survived by his son, Greyson, whose mother, Kim Delmonico, owns a competitive dance studio. His parents plan a memorial service for the end of August.