From the Platte County Prosecutor...more to follow on this story. -Ed.
A Kansas City man was sentenced to 15 years in prison on June 21 for assaulting a Parkville police officer and resisting arrest. Demario R. Bello, 24, pleaded guilty in May to seriously injuring Captain Jon Jordan by dragging him with his car in an attempt to avoid being arrested for outstanding municipal warrants.
Platte County Prosecuting Attorney Eric Zahnd said, “This defendant seriously injured a decorated police officer, merely to avoid being picked up on municipal warrants. His reckless and dangerous acts may have ended that officer’s career and turned what might have been only a night in jail into a 15-year prison term.”
Judge Abe Shafer sentenced Bello to 12 years in prison for assaulting the officer and three years in prison for resisting arrest. He ordered those sentences to run consecutively to one another. Shafer also sentenced Bello to three years in prison for possession of cocaine, to be served concurrently with the other sentences.
A Parkville police officer stopped Bello on July 31, 2011 at approximately 8:00 p.m. for driving with expired license plates. A computer check also revealed warrants from Kansas City, Missouri and Kansas City, Kansas for Bello.
The officer called for back-up, and Captain Jordan responded. Bello told the officer his name was Caylon Bello, not Demario Bello, and said he did not have anything with his name on it. The officer then searched the car and located an ID card with Bello’s name and photo.
The officer returned to his patrol vehicle to write a ticket, and Jordan remained behind Bello’s vehicle with Bello. Bello then tried to get into the car in an attempt to flee. Jordan struggled with Bello as Bello got into the driver’s seat and accelerated abruptly. Jordan was dragged by the car until it struck a pole.
Bello then fled from the car and ran into a nearby wooded area, where he was later located by police and taken into custody.
When officers searched Bello’s vehicle, they found a plastic baggie containing cocaine. Bello was also driving while his license was suspended.
As a result of being dragged by the vehicle, Jordan sustained multiple serious injuries, including a head injury, which he still suffers from today. He has not been able to return to active duty with the police department.
Bello pleaded guilty to recklessly causing serious injury to Jordan, and his criminal defense attorney argued at sentencing that the judge should show leniency to Bello because he did not intend to hurt Jordan.
Zahnd disagreed. “We have an obligation to do everything we can to protect law enforcement officers as they safeguard the rest of us,” he said. “No one should try to run from the police, and if an officer is injured during a person’s attempt to flee from arrest, there must be serious consequences.”
The case was investigated by the Parkville Police Department with the assistance of the Platte County Sheriff’s Department, the Riverside Department of Public Safety, the Weatherby Lake Police Department, the Kansas City, Missouri Police Department, and the Missouri State Highway Patrol. It was prosecuted by Assistant Prosecuting Attorney Kevin Humiston.