Suspect Leads Raleigh Police On Car, Foot Chase
Posted November 11, 2003 4:29 a.m. EST
RALEIGH, N.C. — A passenger in a car, who apparently did not want police to pull him over, jumped onto the driver's lap and took off. Authorities later found that he had been arrested and released in a prior murder case.
A man, who wished to remain anonymous, told WRAL that he was driving his Camaro when police tried to pull him over. He said Derrick Bell, who was sitting in the passenger seat, jumped into the driver's lap and took the wheel and the gas pedal.
Bell was initially charged with murder in the case of Pierre Williams, a YMCA counselor. The District Attorney's Office
dismissed the charges
against Bell in late October. Bell had nine outstanding warrants against him, ranging from failure to appear in court, possession of marijuana and resisting arrest.
Bell led authorities on a car chase that caused two separate accidents. Matt Harper's pickup truck was one of the vehicles hit during the chase.
"I look up and this guy makes a tight cut over the median and plowed into me," Harper said.
The car chase ended at the corner of Kent Street and Western Boulevard just inside the Beltline. Witnesses said Bell got out of the car and ran into the woods just behind the gas station. He was caught a few minutes later in the parking lot.
"[I] turn and look up at the Crown parking lot and see four officers taking this guy down," Harper said. "The only thing going through your head is, 'Man, I hope this guy has insurance.'"
Harper said he hurt his back in the accident, but he said he is lucky.
"Hey, I'm alive. It could've been worse. It could've rolled," he said.
Paramedics pulled a third person from the Camaro and loaded him into an ambulance. Four people, including Bell, have been taken into custody.