Sunday , April 18 2021
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MAN WANTED ON FELONY WARRANT IN HAMILTON COUNTY ARRESTED FOLLOWING FRIDAY MORNING INCIDENT IN WHITE AND WAYNE COUNTIES

WHITE COUNTY, IL — A Friday morning incident that began with Carmi Police investigating a report about a car with two people possibly passed out inside, turned into a pursuit that ended with a crash in White County and the driver’s arrest.

According to a Carmi Police report, officers responded to the scene at 8 a.m. to investigate a navy blue Volkswagen car on outer Sycamore at James Avenue with people inside that appeared to be possibly passed out and had been there for a long period of time. While responding, a Carmi Police officer saw a vehicle matching the description that had pulled into Pundrake’s Grocery. Officers had information that Joshua Bell had been seen in a vehicle matching that description and had been reported to have been frequenting the James Avenue and Sycamore area. Officers knew Bell was wanted on a felony warrant out of Hamilton County and had been recently sentenced to 17 years in state prison. However, he had failed to show up for his sentencing hearing. The felony warrant was for resisting a police officer, flight, escape, robbery and aggravated battery.

Upon arriving at the James Avenue location, officers saw the vehicle had already left. Now believing that vehicle seen at Pundrake’s was the suspected vehicle, another officer was on the way and it was determined the blue Volkswagen Jetta with no registration plates visible and was the same vehicle that Bell had been seen driving.

Officers were approaching the Jetta as it left the parking lot and turned north on 5th Street. Officers immediately initiated a traffic stop, but the vehicle began speeding away and this lead to a pursuit. Carmi Police and the White County Sheriff’s Office pursued the vehicle north to the I-64 Burnt Prairie exit before losing sight and discontinuing the pursuit at around 8:16 a.m. Then at 8:21 a.m., White County Dispatch said a Wayne County deputy had found the vehicle after it had crashed at 200 North by 1800 East, west of Barnhill. Officers were told there was one occupant on scene and according to a passerby another male subject had apparently fled on foot to the north.

EMT’s were already tending to the female passenger identified as Bobbie Barnes. Barnes was also found to be wanted out of Hamilton County on a warrant for failure to appear for shoplifting. Barnes was later flown to an area hospital.

Bell was driving the vehicle. He was later found by Wayne County deputies and Fairfield Police lying in a deep ditch with water as he was crawling on his belly to try to evade authorities. Bell was placed under arrest and found to be in possession of meth and paraphernalia. Carmi Police took him back to the scene. He refused medical treatment at that time. Bell was taken to the White County Jail and upon arrival was checked out by the White County Ambulance Service. He was later taken to Hamilton Memorial Hospital in McLeansboro for an evaluation and was later released.

Bell is being held on the Hamilton County felony warrant. Additional White County charges are expected to be filed on Bell.

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