The day finished under the floodlights in the early morning hours with Wawrinka losing his cool and snapping at the rowdy crowd before escaping with a testy win.
After cruising through the opening two sets, Wawrinka had appeared set for a routine victory but the Swiss suddenly found himself in a titanic struggle with both the 95th-ranked Brazilian and some spectators.
In the third set, Bellucci charged 5-1 ahead to keep the match alive and then secured an early break in the fourth as a frustrated Wawrinka muttered to himself.
With the tension building and the score locked at 5-5 after the Swiss had broken back in the sixth game, Wawrinka's mumblings turned to open rage as he screamed at one heckler to "shut up man".
The Australian Open champion would, however, quickly regain his composure as the set moved to a tiebreak, which he dominated 7-1.
"I was trying to keep the focus you know when you drop your level against Bellucci, it is tough," Wawrinka said in a courtside interview. "He started to play better and it started to be a really tricky match.
"In the fourth set, I tried to focus more on my game. I was playing a little more aggressive at the end of the match and that is what made the difference."
Victory for Wawrinka, the Australian Open champion, set up a meeting with Blaz Kavcic of Slovenia, the only other man through to the third round so far.
Kavcic booked his place in the next round with a 6-2 6-7 (6) 6-3 win over Frenchman Jeremy Chardy.
First-round play was completed with sixth-seeded Czech Tomas Berdych dismissing 2001 champion Lleyton Hewitt of Australia 6-3 6-4 6-3 and seventh seed Bulgarian Grigor Dimitrov a 6-2 7-6 6-2 victor over local wild card Ryan Harrison.
Cilic and Lopez advanced in abbreviated fashion. Cilic was leading 6-3 3-1 when Marcos Baghdatis of Cyprus retired with an ankle injury, while Lopez was at 1-1 in the fifth set when Croat Ivan Dodig could no longer continue due to cramping.
US Open results
Blaz Kavcic (Slovenia) beat 30-Jeremy Chardy (France) 6-2 7-6(6) 6-3
David Goffin (Belgium) beat Niels Desein (Belgium) 6-1 6-3 6-3
Tatsuma Ito (Japan) beat Steve Johnson (U.S.) 6-2 3-6 5-7 4-1 (Johnson retired)
Alexander Kudryavtsev (Russia) beat Evgeny Donskoy (Russia) 2-6 7-6(6) 3-6 6-3 6-4
7-Grigor Dimitrov (Bulgaria) beat Ryan Harrison (U.S.) 6-2 7-6(4) 6-2
Martin Klizan (Slovakia) beat Steve Darcis (Belgium) 3-6 2-6 7-6(5) 7-5 6-4
6-Tomas Berdych (Czech Republic) beat Lleyton Hewitt (Australia) 6-3 6-4 6-3
Jerzy Janowicz (Poland) beat Dusan Lajovic (Serbia) 6-3 7-5 5-7 7-5
Illya Marchenko (Ukraine) beat Marco Chiudinelli (Switzerland) 7-6(3) 4-6 7-6(13) 7-6(4)
18-Kevin Anderson (South Africa) beat Pablo Cuevas (Uruguay) 6-3 6-7(3) 4-6 6-2 7-6(1)
Teymuraz Gabashvili (Russia) beat 27-Santiago Giraldo (Colombia) 6-3 1-6 7-6(6) 6-3
19-Feliciano Lopez (Spain) beat Ivan Dodig (Croatia) 1-6 7-5 2-6 6-4 1-1 (Dodig retired)
14-Marin Cilic (Croatia) beat Marcos Baghdatis (Cyprus) 6-3 3-1 (Baghdatis retired)
Dominic Thiem (Austria) beat Lukas Lacko (Slovakia) 6-3 6-3 6-2
11-Ernests Gulbis (Latvia) beat Kenny De Schepper (France) 6-1 6-4 6-2
Dudi Sela (Israel) beat Carlos Berlocq (Argentina) 1-6 6-3 6-2 7-5
32-Joao Sousa (Portugal) beat Frank Dancevic (Canada) 7-6(6) 3-6 6-2 4-6 7-6(2)
- Sports & Recreation