Local Man Faces Charges After Allegedly Breaking Into Clarion Apartment, Assaulting Victim

Jacob Deemer

Jacob Deemer

Published March 5, 2024 5:33 am
Local Man Faces Charges After Allegedly Breaking Into Clarion Apartment, Assaulting Victim

CLARION BOROUGH, Pa. (EYT) — A local man is facing burglary, criminal trespass, and other charges after breaking into his neighbor’s apartment and assaulting him on Saturday morning.

According to court documents, the Clarion Borough Police Department filed criminal charges against 28-year-old Michael John Bell Jr., of Clarion, in District Judge Timothy Schill’s office on Monday, March 4.

According to a criminal complaint, Clarion Borough Police were dispatched to the 700 block of South Street in Clarion Borough, around 6:17 a.m. on Saturday, March 2, for a report of an individual who had kicked in a door and assaulted the individual who was living there.

Upon arrival, officers could hear someone talking loudly as they walked up the steps. The victim—a known male—was standing outside his apartment and pointed to the next door over and said the individual who attacked him was in the apartment. Officers knocked on the door and Michael Bell quickly came out, the complaint states.

Bell was detained and asked what happened. He claimed he was walking past the victim’s apartment when the victim came out of his apartment and attacked him, the complaint indicates.

Officer Taylor Smith then went to the victim’s apartment. It was noted that the victim was having an asthma attack while talking to police, according to the complaint.

The victim was observed to have a red, swollen mark above his right eye and a big rug burn mark on his right knee from his carpet. Officer Smith also observed red bloodstains on his carpet from the victim’s knee, the complaint notes.

The victim explained in a written statement that he awakened from an asthma attack and had propped his door open to help himself breathe. He stated Bell then shoved his door open and started to yell at him about a flashing light. The victim told Bell to leave, and Bell replied that he “was on probation and was not afraid to go back to prison,” the complaint states.

At this point, the victim said that he was sitting on his couch as Bell came into the apartment the rest of the way and punched him in the head, causing injury to an area just above his right eye, the complaint indicates.

The victim then struggled with Bell on the floor, which caused injury to his right knee. The victim was then able to pin Bell to the floor until he calmed down, the complaint notes.

Bell then got up, stared at the victim, and then went into his apartment where the victim reported he could still hear him screaming, according to the complaint.

Bell then came back again and stared at the victim while he was on the phone with Clarion OES. The victim then grabbed a hammer before Bell left again and remained in his apartment until police arrived, according to the victim’s statement.

According to the complaint, it was later learned that Bell was on probation for a similar incident. Clarion Probation issued a detainer and Bell was transported to the Clarion County Jail.

Bell was arraigned in front of Judge Schill at 2:15 p.m. on Monday, March 4, on the following charges:

– Burglary — Overnight Accommodations; Person Present, Bodily Injury Crime, Felony 1
– Criminal Trespass-Break Into Structure, Felony 2
– Simple Assault, Misdemeanor 2
– Defiant Trespass Actual Communication To Actor, Misdemeanor 2
– Harassment — Subject Other to Physical Contact, Summary
– Criminal Mischief — Damage Property, Summary

Unable to post $50,000.00 monetary bail, he is currently lodged in the Clarion County Jail.

A preliminary hearing is scheduled for 8:30 a.m. on Tuesday, March 12, with Judge Schill presiding.

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