Violent Crimes Division detectives today charged Jason Bell, 29, with two counts of attempted murder, carjacking, aggravated assault, vehicle theft, and evading arrest in connection with a crime spree Wednesday afternoon/evening that began with the critical stabbings of a man and a woman at a homeless camp off Donelson Pike at I-40.
Hermitage Precinct officers were dispatched to a hotel in the area concerning a man attempting to enter rooms. Upon arrival, they encountered a man in the grass adjacent to the I-40 West entrance ramp who was suffering from multiple stab wounds, including some to his head. The 29-year-old victim was able to tell officers that he was assaulted in nearby woods. A 39-year-old woman then emerged from those woods also suffering from multiple stab wounds, including some to her face. Due to the extent of the injuries and logistical concerns, officers put the victims into the back of two police cars and rushed them to a hospital.
Prior to the police arrival on the scene, Bell had fled in a gray Jeep Grand Cherokee that had been concealed in the woods (the Jeep had been stolen from Oak Trees Court in Antioch on June 11). Bell drove for about a half mile before crashing the Jeep at Elm Hill Pike & Old Elm Hill Pike. He then went to a nearby restaurant and got into the back seat of a Nissan Armada SUV just after a 37-year-old South Carolina woman and her teenage daughter had returned to the vehicle. Bell demanded that they give him a ride or he would hurt them. The mother and daughter got out and ran from the SUV. Bell got behind the wheel. As he started driving, he reportedly swerved in an attempt to hit the teen, who was able to jump out of the way.
A Hermitage Precinct detective spotted the Armada and began a pursuit. An MNPD helicopter was in the air and took over the pursuit. A THP helicopter also flew into the area to offer assistance. Bell abandoned the Armada near DuPont Tyler Middle School. He attempted to break into the school building and attempted to steal a truck before he was taken into custody.
Bell was taken to a hospital for injuries sustained when he crashed the Jeep. Upon his release, he was transported to police headquarters where he refused to be interviewed.
A judicial commissioner set Bell’s bond at $1.36 million. Detectives have not yet been able to speak with the stabbing victims in detail due to their critical injuries.