A California man, identified as Jaquinn Bell, 31, has been taken into custody and placed under arrest due to suspicion of criminal hit-and-run in connection with an accident that led to the deaths of three young California teenage girls on Halloween. The tragic event occurred in the city of Santa Ana. Local law enforcement first stated that they had apprehended two adults and two juveniles in association with the event, but they later let everyone go except for the alleged driver, recognized as Bell.
He was placed under arrest Sunday afternoon just outside a hotel located in Stanton, California, stated Santa Ana city police. They explained they began their hunt for Bell and another individual after twin sisters Lexandra and Lexia Perez, 13, along with their friend, Andrea Gonzales, also 13, were smashed into while they were attempting to cross the street at Old Grand Road and Fairhaven Lane while the three were out trick-or-treating on Friday evening around 6:50 p.m.
Police detectives noted how they later discovered the alleged car used in the accident. It was a Honda and it had been abandoned in the parking area of an adjacent grocery store. California police explained that both the driver and passenger had taken off. It was also on Sunday afternoon that they released information to the public where they stated they had detained several individuals related to the hit-and-run, but they refused to give out names of the accused or any major details relating to the tragic incident at that time. It was only later in the evening that they released information about Bell being the person placed under arrest and detained for the crime.
Andrea’s brother, Josiah Gonzalez, 21, talked about Bell being taken into custody and put under arrest. He declared that the man’s detainment and arrest would not bring his sister back but that hopefully Bell would receive his time in court and that justice would be served.
On Monday morning at Fairhaven Middle School, very close to where the event happened, the street corner was almost completely hidden due to flower bouquets, stuffed animals, candles and a bowl that held lighters in order to help keep the candles lit. People were coming to give their respect and also bringing more items. One man performed the sign of the cross in front of his body while two others added more flowers and teddy bears to the large improvised memorial. There were also employees from the city of Santa Ana who stopped by and viewed the commemorative.
Two brothers, Wayne Flynn and Shane Chasseur were also looking at the ever-growing memorial from the front yard of their home. It was located just down the street from where the scene of the accident occurred. Each man exclaimed that they had not been able to sleep since the incident. They added that the Halloween bowl full of candy they had planned to pass out was still packed. Halloween guests had stopped coming to their house after the three girls were killed. They also stated they removed all the imitation spooky decorations they had out in the front of their house. Flynn, 31, explained that all future Halloweens would be different for the two of them.
Even though Bell was placed under arrest, it was not yet known when he would have his first day in court. There also were no details about him having any bail set or retaining the services of an attorney.
By Kimberly Ruble
The Washington Post
Photo by Mesa0789 – Flickr License