BY JENNIFER CABRERA
Josephus Benjamin Bell, 28, was arrested late last night after a caller reported to 911 that Bell, who had two active warrants, was sitting in a car in a parking lot.
Bell was wanted on warrants from two different cases and had additional recent sworn complaints. The first case goes back to July 12, 2021, when he was arrested for driving while his license was suspended. After three failures to appear for hearings in that case, a warrant was issued for his arrest. Warrants were also issued for the first two failures to appear, but they were canceled after Bell wrote letters to the judge, apologizing for missing the hearings.
The second case began with an arrest on September 18, 2021 for domestic battery, possession of less than 20g of cannabis, driving with a suspended license with knowledge, and leaving the scene of an accident with property damage. He was released on his own recognizance by Judge Meshon Rawls, with the conditions that he not drive without a valid license and that he not have any contact with the victim of the domestic battery charge. He also had a failure to appear in that case in December, but the warrant was canceled after he wrote a letter to the judge, apologizing for missing the hearing.
On January 20 and January 21, there are multiple sworn complaints alleging that he drove with a suspended license and committed domestic battery. The complaints document multiple instances in which he was with the victim of the previous domestic battery charges. He was not located at the time the complaints were filed, but a warrant was issued for violating the conditions of his release in the second case.
Last night, a Gainesville Police Department officer responded to a residence where Bell was reportedly parked in a white Mercedes. As Bell got out of the car, the officer reported that it looked like he was trying to hide something. When the officer tried to place him in handcuffs, Bell allegedly began pulling away and tensing up his arms. The officer wrote that he eventually had to take Bell to the ground to handcuff him.
A search after the arrest reportedly found four credit cards belonging to different people in Bell’s pocket. The officer reported that Bell told him he found one of them and the other three belonged to friends that he “forgot to give them back to.” However, Bell allegedly was unable to remember two of the names. Three Oxycodone pills were reportedly found on the floor of the car. He has been charged with one count of unlawful possession of a stolen credit card, one count of possession of a controlled substance without a prescription, and one count of resisting arrest without violence.
Bell is being held without bail on the two warrants and on bail of $12,000 on the charges from last night.
Articles about arrests are based on reports from law enforcement agencies. The charges listed are taken from the arrest report and/or court records and are only accusations. All suspects are innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.