Niagara Gazette

Crime

January 29, 2013

Fleeing driver hits two police cars

Niagara Gazette — CITY OF TONAWANDA — A 55-year-old man led officers on a crazy chase early Tuesday morning, hitting two police cars and clipping a house in the process.

The pursuit began when City of Tonawanda police officers attempted to pull over Jacob W. Bell, 55, for speeding on Delaware Street near Ilion Street. 

"He refused to stop, and led officers into the Town of Tonawanda," Lt. Fredric Foels said. 

Bell, of West Utica Street, Buffalo, continued in a 2007 Kia, crossing back and forth between Canterbury Lane and Traverse Boulevard, among other town streets. 

"He went up on lawns, hit stop signs and eventually hit an object, spun around, and hit a police car head on," Foels said. "He also clipped a tree, hit another one of our cars and clipped a house, too." 

The vehicle, which Bell took from a collision shop on Chandler Street in Buffalo, eventually came to a stop near 327 Zimmerman Blvd. after Bell spun out on a lawn, leaving debris and license plate in his wake, at about 1:30 a.m. 

He exited the car and fled on foot, but officers were able to catch up with him.

Bell was sent to Erie County Medical Center for a blood test, as officers believed he was intoxicated, and was then brought back to the station. 

In the City of Tonawanda, Bell has been charged with unlawful fleeing of a police officer in a motor vehicle, unauthorized use of a vehicle, third-degree aggravated unlicensed operation of a vehicle and DWI.

Bell also faces seven traffic violations, which include failure to yield to an emergency vehicle, switching license plates, speeding, unregistered vehicle, no insurance, no inspection and no driver's license. 

He was arraigned on the charges Tuesday afternoon before Judge Mark E. Saltarelli.

Town of Tonawanda Lt. Nick Bado said Bell will face additional charges in the town, including resisting arrest, attempted aggravated assault to a police officer, two criminal mischief charges for the damage to the police cars and 11 traffic tickets.

"We will also be assessing the damage to the residents' lawns to see if there should be any additional criminal mischief charges," Bado said.

Bell is being held in lieu of $10,000 bail. 

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