Bell Sentenced to State Prison for Hiding from, Fighting with Police

CLEARFIELD – A DuBois man who hid from and then fought with police was sentenced to state prison Tuesday in Clearfield County Court.

William Merrill Bell II, 42, currently an inmate of state prison, pleaded guilty to aggravated assault, resisting arrest, and flight to avoid apprehension.

Judge Paul Cherry sentenced him to 21 months to five years in state prison. He is already serving a lengthy sentence for violating his parole.

According to the affidavit of probable cause, on Jan. 5 a police officer issuing parking tickets saw Bell walk past him and go into a residence on Morrison Street in DuBois.

This officer was aware that Bell had a warrant from the state parole board. When he checked to verify the warrant was still active, a state parole officer told him he wanted Bell if he could find him.

Three officers then went to the residence where a woman told them Bell was inside somewhere and gave them permission to search the home.

She explained that when Bell heard the officer’s knock on the door, he took off somewhere but she thought he was still in the home.

As they searched, one of the officers yelled “Bill, you need to just come out. It’s the police.” He did not answer, but they noticed a light was on in the basement.

One of the officers yelled “police” and “if you’re down here, come out” but no movement was heard in the basement.

The first officer went down the steps and a second officer joined him after he heard the first officer say “get out from there and show me your hands.”

The first officer drew his weapon and pointed it in Bell’s direction. The second officer pulled his Taser. Bell could be seen standing next to the furnace, according to the complaint.

The first officer told Bell repeatedly to come out and get down on the ground. Bell then squatted down a little as if he was going to get on the ground, not far from the officers.

Instead Bell took several steps and then charged at the first officer as if he was going to assault him. Bell managed to get so close to the first officer that he reacted with a straight kick to Bell’s chest.

Bell went backwards a couple feet and then charged the officers again, police said. They managed to tackle Bell to the cement floor, where he kept attempting to get back up on his feet.

He refused to follow the officer’s commands to stop resisting. After wrestling with him for a short period of time, they managed to get Bell flat on the ground with his hands behind his back. They handcuffed him as he continued to struggle, according to the report.

They discovered his coat had pills and syringes in it. Bell told them he used the syringe to shoot up methamphetamine, according to the complaint.

When he was asked why he charged them, he responded that he had no idea but said it was stupid, admitting the drugs probably had something to do with it. He then made the comment, “you just saved my life.”

In Bell’s gym bag they located an additional 29 syringes, the report said.

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