A Maryland man was sentenced Feb. 28 to one year in prison for the assault of a U.S. Park Police officer who was nearly struck by other vehicles following a highway traffic stop.
Jesse Lee Bell, 39, of Randallstown, Md. was also sentenced to six months of community confinement and three years of supervised release.
According to Bell’s plea agreement, a U.S. Park Police officer pulled him over in the early morning hours of Aug. 27 on the Baltimore Washington Parkway after seeing Bell’s pick-up truck drift out of its lane. The officer detected the smell of alcohol coming from the vehicle and ordered Bell to step out of the truck to perform field sobriety tests.
According to the agreement, Bell did not exit the vehicle and ignored repeated commands to unlock his door. As the Park Police officer reached in through an open window to unlock the door, Bell sped off, striking the officer and spinning him into the oncoming traffic lanes. The officer saw cars coming toward him at highway speeds, but the drivers were able to swerve and avoid hitting him.
The officer, and a backup, located Bell driving with his headlights off a short time later. Bell eventually pulled onto the shoulder of the road, and the officers were able to remove Bell from the truck and arrest him.