Tonawanda News


January 31, 2013

Hitting too close to home


Tonawanda News — The ruckus continued as we threw open the curtains, police cars racing down our tree-lined street. Whatever was happening, it was now down at the other end, where all those lights were congregating. Right near where my husband has family living.

I told him to go. He went. I curled up on the couch under a blanket, listening for the kids, hopefully everything was OK, wondering what had brought this bit of chaos to our corner of suburbia. And I waited. And waited.

I’m not good at waiting. My imagination runs away with me. Was it a fire? Carbon monoxide? Not only do we have family at that end of the street, we have friends there. My husband grew up on that block. What was going on?

It was a long 25 minutes before he returned. And even my imagination hadn’t provided me with the scenario that had actually played out.

A high-speed car chase on our street. On Zimmerman Boulevard. On the street where, had it been April, our car would probably have been sitting. Near the sidewalks where our 4-year-old rides his very first bicycle and our 8-year-old collects pinecones and fallen leaves. OUR street.

According to police, Joseph Bell of Buffalo refused to stop when City of Tonawanda police officers attempted to pull him over for speeding on Delaware Street. The chase continued into the town, where it eventually wound up near us. Bell allegedly crossed into lawns, hit signs, trees and two police cars — even clipping a house before eventually spinning out on a lawn and taking off on foot.

So early that winter morning, my husband stood several houses away on a relative’s lawn, which was strewn with debris from the various vehicles, watching the lights from the swarm of police cars and wondering. Eventually an officer told him that the driver had been caught, allaying fears of a manhunt in the area.

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