South Salt Lake City Police Department Statement on Bell Press Conference

On Oct. 7, the South Salt Lake City Police Department issued the following statement in response to a press conference in which David James “D.J.” Bell and his attorneys Roger Kraft and Susanne Gustin criticized the department’s handling of the investigation into allegations that Bell had kidnapped two children and the beating Bell and his partner Dan Fair received at the hands of some members of the children’s family that same night:

In the early morning hours of July 5, 2008, a violent altercation broke out between next-door neighbors and their guests in reaction to a suspected kidnapping of two toddlers by Mr. DJ Bell. Mr. Bell has now been acquitted of kidnapping charges.

During the altercation, Mr. Bell and Daniel Fair, Mr. Bell’s roommate, sustained injuries.

South Salt Lake Police quickly responded to multiple 911 calls and took control of the situation.

An investigation was conducted and the information was presented to the District Attorney’s Office for its decision whether to pursue both kidnapping charges against Mr. Bell and assault charges against the parents and guests.

The South Salt Lake City Attorney’s Office also reviewed the results of the police investigation and consulted with the DA’s office. The decision whether to file assault charges against the alleged assailants of DJ Bell and Daniel Fair is still pending with the DA’s office.

Because Mr. Bell has been acquitted and because possible criminal charges arising from the incident are still under consideration, the Police Department will not discuss the specific facts of the case.

Notwithstanding, the Police Department feels a responsibility to respond to public criticism of its handling of the matter.

Accounts of the incident that have been presented in the media do not accurately reflect the evidence obtained during the police investigation. Both the police response and investigation were proper. Any allegation to the contrary is based upon either a poor understanding or misrepresentation of the investigative facts.

There will be no further comment by the Police Department at this time.

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