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UC man charged with child abuse

UC man charged with child abuse

Posted: Friday, September 10, 2010 9:03 pm

Staff Reporter
A Union City man faces charges after he was allegedly found in an impaired condition with a 2-year-old child in his vehicle.
James Joseph Bell, 27, of 625 South First St., Union City, was arrested Thursday morning on charges of child abuse and neglect or endangerment and driving under the influence, according to a Union City Police Department report.
He was arraigned Thursday and his preliminary hearing set for Oct. 7 in Obion County General Sessions Court.
Police had responded shortly after 4 a.m. to a complaint of someone lying in a vehicle in the 1700 block of North Fifth St. An officer reported he arrived to find a white man, identified as Bell, lying in the front seat with his feet on the dash and all of his clothes off with the exception of his shirt and socks.
As the officer came closer to the vehicle, he noticed a small child in a car seat in the rear passenger area.
According to the report, Bell was slowly waving his hands in front of his face and “looking around as if he was lost.” At this point, police removed the 2-year-old child from the car for her own safety.
Bell was taken by ambulance to Baptist Memorial Hospital-Union City’s emergency room and the child was taken to the emergency room by her mother, who was called to the scene. Police reported the child was checked for abuse or drug contact and was cleared.
Police said Bell was able to communicate with them several hours later and indicated he had used some methamphetamine earlier in the day. He said the child awoke and he was going to take a ride so the child would go back to sleep, but during his nightly ride, “he started tripping out,” thinking police were after him, according to the report.
Bell allegedly told police he pulled into a parking lot with other vehicles so he would blend in and “eat about five more grams of meth so he could get rid of the evidence.” He said when he started to leave the lot, the gate through which he had entered was shut and locked, which resulted in him sitting there waiting on someone to open the gate. However, the meth he had just taken “kicked in and he was freaking out hearing voices and seeing things,” according to the report.
He told police that a voice told him to take off all his clothes and pretend to be a cross-dresser, and then he “started freaking out so bad all he could do was lay back in the seat and watch his hands move slowly across his face,” police reported.
Messenger Staff Reporter Chris Menees may be contacted by e-mail at


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