Two El Dorado residents appeared Wednesday in 35th Judicial District Court on felony charges stemming from a police chase that reportedly resulted in an accident and non-life threatening injuries for one of the defendants.
Bonds were set at $30,000 and $15,000, respectively, for Eddie L. Bell, 34, of 500 E&B, and Quasha S. Keel, 27, of 911 Louisiana, during first appearance hearings in district court.
Bell and Keel were arrested Monday night after El Dorado police initiated a traffic stop while traveling behind a vehicle from which “a strong odor of marijuana” emanated, according to a police report.
Police said they were driving behind the vehicle in the area of Rock Island and E&B at approximately 9:35 p.m. when they smelled marijuana and noticed that the temporary license plate had expired.
Officers noted there was no other vehicular or foot traffic in the area at the time.
Police said they initiated the traffic stop as the vehicle turned west onto Cook Street but the vehicle did not stop and continued for several blocks.
At one point, the vehicle darted onto the parking lot behind Doe’s Laundromat, 815 E. Hillsboro, and headed south on Nelson, police said.
They said the vehicle then continued for a half-block before stopping on the side of the road.
Police said the passenger door of the vehicle opened, and as a second police cruiser approached the scene from the south end of Nelson, the engine of the suspects’ vehicle revved up.
The driver, later identified as Keel, accelerated toward the second police cruiser, according to a police report.
The officer swerved to avoid a collision and a chase ensued, police said.
Keel reportedly crossed onto the northbound side of the street, swerved past the second officer’s cruiser and slammed into the curb as she attempted to turn east onto East First Street.
Police said Malone, the passenger, was ejected from the vehicle and landed in the front yard of a residence in the 900 block of East First.
A pill bottle and what appeared to be a piece of metal also flew from the vehicle at the time, police said.
Officers said Malone scrambled to his feet and ran south through the backyards of several residences, as the suspects’ vehicle sped east on First.
After a brief foot chase, Bell was apprehended in a residential driveway near the intersection of Nelson and Wilson.
Police noted that a broken glass-smoking pipe was on the ground beside Bell and broken pieces of glass tumbled from his pocket as they took him into custody.
Officers also recovered the pill bottle, which contained a small amount of crack cocaine, and a piece of aluminum foil in the area where Malone was ejected from the vehicle.
Also recovered from the scene was a broken hubcap that was determined to have fallen from the front passenger tire of the suspects’ vehicle.
Police said Bell was bleeding from a large laceration in his groin and he had several abrasions on his arms, legs, face and head.
Officers later determined that Bell sustained the laceration after he was impaled while jumping over a fence when he was running from them.
He was transported by ambulance to Medical Center of South Arkansas, where he was treated and released.
Police said Bell initially refused to provide any personal information, but he eventually identified himself and Keel as the driver of the vehicle and the mother of his child.
Police had noted that a black female wearing a red T-shirt was driving the vehicle when it swerved around the police cruiser on Nelson.
A short time later, Keel called 911 to report her vehicle stolen and police learned she was at the Louisiana Avenue residence.
Officers said that when they arrived at the residence, Keel was “out of breath” and her hair was disheveled.
They also said she was wearing a black tank top at the time, and they noticed a red T-shirt laying on a chair in the front room of the residence.
Keel was positively identified as the driver of the vehicle, and she was taken into custody.
She faces charges of aggravated assault, fleeing in a vehicle, leaving the scene of an accident with injury, careless and prohibited driving and failure to pay vehicle registration fee.
Bell was arrested for possession of crack cocaine, possession of drug paraphernalia, fleeing on foot, refusal to submit to arrest and obstructing governmental operations.
He had also been wanted on an Arkansas Parole Board warrant for parole violation and was served with the warrant following his arrest on the other charges.
Tia Lyons may be contacted at 870-862-6611 or tlyons@ eldoradonews.com.