Attempted murder charges filed against Army paratrooper
Police say he fired 10 shots at car carrying stepson, two others
Faith Huffman | News-Telegram News Editor

July 13, 2005 -- U.S. Army paratrooper Daniel Joe Bell, 22, remained in Hopkins County jail just before noon Wednesday in lieu of $100,000 bond on each of three counts of attempted murder.

Bell was arrested by police officer Ronny Doss and Sgt. Inv. Monty Tipps just before 9 a.m. Tuesday at the police department. He is accused of firing 10 rounds into a car carrying Bell's 6-month-old stepson, the child's father and uncle as they were attempting to leave Buford City Park at 7:51 a.m. Tuesday.

A .357-cal. handgun was recovered from Bell's vehicle Tuesday morning.

Police Chief Jim Bayuk said that it was fortunate that the incident ended with no injuries, especially since six bullets struck the vehicle. One bullet pierced the rear of the car, then went into the trunk area. One hit the rear driver's side door, another the front passenger's side of the car, another struck a wheel well, in addition to the two which were said to have flattened the back tires.

Child Protective Services placed the infant in the care of his maternal grandmother, who lives in Hopkins County. The child's mother, who is currently staying in Sulphur Springs, is being allowed visitation with her son at her mother's residence. However, she is restricted from taking the child anywhere without her mother's supervision, according to Tipps. The child remained in the grandmother's custody Wednesday.

The shooting reportedly stems from a child custody dispute, police said. Bell and his wife reportedly met the child's father in Buford City Park shortly before 8 a.m. Tuesday so that he could visit with the child. The infant's father and uncle got into his car with the baby, and began exiting the park.

According to police, Bell got the handgun and shot at the vehicle, flattening both rear tires of the vehicle. The child's father continued in his car, with Bell following in another vehicle, firing at the car.

The incident ended with the father stopping at a Main Street business. The infant's mother and Bell reported to the police department, where Bell was taken into custody.

Tipps said the second-degree felony attempted murder charge could at a later time be changed to aggravated assault with a deadly weapon.

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