, Salem, MA

March 7, 2013

Chase leads to arrest of man wanted in Calif.


---- — SALEM — A man wanted in California on charges that include stalking and threats was arrested after a chase that ended on the Salem State University campus on Tuesday afternoon, police said.

Sean Patrick Bell, 44, of Ukiah, Calif., has ties to the North Shore, including family members in Beverly and Danvers, though they hadn’t seen him in years, they told police.

Salem police learned that Bell might be staying with a woman who lives on Loring Avenue and began watching the apartment. Around 3 p.m., Salem police detectives Kristian Hanson, Steve Bona, Dennis Gaudet and Daniel Tucker saw a man resembling Bell drive past them in a rented white pickup truck.

The truck turned onto Moffatt Road, made a U-turn and then passed the officers again, in the opposite direction, Salem police Lt. Conrad Prosniewski told a Salem District Court judge yesterday.

The detectives turned around, caught up with the truck and signaled it to pull over.

The truck stopped, but as Gaudet knocked on the driver’s-side window, Bell took off, speeding up Canal Street and passing other traffic on the left, Prosniewski told the judge.

Bell then pulled into a Citgo gas station, apparently intending to circle the building and pull out the other side. But his path was blocked by a parked car, Prosniewski told the judge, so Bell bailed out of the still-running truck and ran, chased by Hanson.

Bell ran across the street, onto the Salem State campus, where Hanson caught up with him and put him under arrest.

California authorities noted in their bulletin that Bell has a long record that includes convictions for assault and battery and escape, and identified him as a sex offender. The Ukiah, Calif., police also indicated that they are willing to extradite Bell from anywhere in the United States.

Details about the case in which he is currently wanted in were not available. Messages left for police there were not returned before deadline.

Ukiah police logs posted online indicate that Bell was arrested twice last fall, including after an incident on Sept. 13 when a woman reported that he was inside her home in violation of a restraining order. The Mendocino County court website indicates that there is still a pending case against Bell.

Bell’s lawyer, William Barabino, said yesterday that he expects that Bell will sign a waiver of extradition and agree to return to California, but that he would not be signing that waiver yesterday.

Bell will first have to resolve a string of moving violations here, including driving to endanger, failing to stop for police, speeding and improper passing, as well as disorderly conduct.

Judge Sabita Singh ordered Bell held without bail.

A pretrial hearing is scheduled for March 28.

Courts reporter Julie Manganis can be reached at 978-338-2521, via email at or on Twitter @SNJulieManganis.