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For Flagler Cop Sam Bell, Stopping
Bad Guys Didn’t End With Desk Duty

| February 7, 2015

Shawn Stone, left, and Rodney Hill.

Shawn Stone, left, and Rodney Hill.

Not even the Move-Over law would have helped Sam Bell.

Just after midnight that April morning on Pine Lakes Parkway in Palm Coast, Elizabeth Wiley, then a 51-year-old resident of Cherry Court in Bunnell, was driving toward him, drunk. Bell, a Flagler County Sheriff’s deputy, had pulled over another car and was conducting that traffic stop.
“I was waiting for the vehicle to slow down as it approached me,” Bell, who’d been with the agency less than three years at the time, wrote in his report back then. “As the vehicle approached, I observed that it was not slowing down and that the truck was not moving to go around me. Because I had just exited my vehicle my door was still open I took two steps toward the approaching vehicle waving my flash light on the ground in front of the truck to get the truck to move over or slow down.”

Bell estimated the oncoming truck was going 45. “The truck continued to drive directly at me. I did not want to move out further into the road because I was afraid the truck would swerve into the south bound lane the last second and hit me. When I realized the truck was not going to move over or slowdown and that if I waited any longer the truck would hit me, I jumped as fast and far as I could into the south bound lane as the tuck drove past were I had just been standing. I heard a loud noise as the truck impacted my car door and continued to drive on. I felt a sharp pain in my knee as I went back to my patrol car.”

Deputy Sam Bell.

Deputy Sam Bell.

That pain didn’t stop him from finishing his work that morning, including Wiley’s arrest on a drunk driving charge, after a brief pursuit. (The following year Wiley pleaded guilty to reckless driving, paid fines and was on 12 months’ probation.) But the left knee would prove problematic. He had difficulty walking that morning.

It got worse. Bell has since had three surgeries to the knee.

He was placed on “light duty” and assigned the front desk at the Sheriff’s Operations Center in Bunnell. “Typically,” he said in a release the Sheriff’s Office issued Friday, “I answer phone calls and assist with walk-ins. I am grateful and appreciative that I can continue to serve the public.”

As it’s turned out, his desk duty goes beyond phone, desk and walk-ins. On two occasions in the last three weeks, Bell’s alertness led to the arrest of two individuals who had either outstanding warrants or were violating their probation.

On Jan. 21, Shawn Stone, a 24-year-old resident of Ormond Beach who’s had five arrests in Flagler County since 2009, was retrieving a vehicle from the impound yard when Bell encountered him and thought he recalled Stone having an active warrant. He had five such warrants from Volusia County—for burglary, two counts of possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, and two counts of armed burglary with a firearm. Stone was arrested and jailed on $45,000 bond, which he posted.

On Feb. 4, Bell Recognized Rodney Hill, a 37-year-old Palm Coast resident who’s also been jailed five times in the same span of time as Stone’s. Bell recalled that Hill was on probation, and was not allowed to leave his house without permission. He’d gone to the sheriff’s office to inquire about his vehicle. Stone made a discreet call to Hill’s probation officer, who confirmed that Hill was violating his probation. He was soon jailed.

“Deputy Bell has proven to be a law enforcement officer with great integrity,” said Sheriff Jim Manfre. “His actions and quick thinking resulted in two arrests being made right on our front steps.”

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10 Responses for “For Flagler Cop Sam Bell, Stopping
Bad Guys Didn’t End With Desk Duty”

  1. Lin says:

    Wow Deputy Bell
    A fine officer
    Thank you

  2. great job Deputy says:

    I met Deputy Bell at a severe car accident where I was a witness. I observed Deputy Bell pull a baby out of a crashed car just before it was consumed by fire. He saved that baby without any apparent regard for his own safety. Glad to see he is doing well. Hope that child was OK. This deputy deserves an award!

  3. rick says:

    Fact: Manfre told his PR department to generate some positive news stories ASAP to help divert attention to his recent barrage of negative press. I think they call this smoke and mirrors. A deputy on desk duty noticing a subject with an arrest warrant isn’t typically front page news. Its called doing his job!

    • doing your Job says:

      Your right Rick. He is doing his job. But why is it wrong to acknowledge someone who is injured by a drunk driver in the line of duty…had multiple surgeries and then not only keeps a great attitude but continues to work hard? I don’t know this deputy but I do own a local business and I wish I had more employees like deputy Bell!

  4. confidential says:

    Thank you Deputy Sam Bell and hope and expect your knee to fully recover!

  5. biker says:

    My son owes his life to Sam. After other deputies sh*tcanned my sons repeated calls for help,Sam listened to him. Because Sam listened my son he was finally removed from a horrible situation. Now five years later my son has a career in Law enforcement himself. Thank you brother.

  6. concerned says:

    Well I’m very happy that Mr. Stone finally will get whats coming to him. Very troubled person. Way to go Mr Bell.

  7. tomc says:

    Why are so many thugs coming to Palm Coast?

  8. rick says:

    Doing your job… I agree with you. I’m not trying to suggest that this deputy did anything other than a great job. It’s the fact that Manfre’s PR team issued a press release with the whole focus of diverting attention away from his legal troubles and bad press. Manfre is using this deputy’s efforts as smoke and mirrors. Manfre has a history of using deputies as pawns in his PR game.

  9. ted bundy says:

    too bad the courts dont put and keep the criminals in jail!!

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