Driver in crash accused of offering victim free Chili's to not call officers

Two men were arrested in the incident

By Jon Jankowski - Digital journalist
PHOTO CREDIT: Brevard Sheriff's Office

PALM BAY, Fla. - A driver involved in a crash in Palm Bay is accused of offering the victim free food from Chili's Grill and Bar if the victim did not call officers to the scene, according to an arrested affidavit.

Palm Bay police said officers were dispatched to a report of a hit-and-run in the area of Emerson Drive and Jupiter Boulevard around 6:40 p.m. on Sunday.

Police said the driver of a silver Nissan Altima told officers he was hit by a silver convertible.

Investigators said the victim told police the driver of the convertible offered him free food from Chili's if he did not contact officers about the crash.

The victim told police the passenger of the convertible threatened to beat him up if he did not drop the incident, according to the arrest affidavit.

According to court records, cars driving by the area got involved and the two men went back to the convertible and left the scene.

The victim was able to catch the plate number and provided the information to officers.

The tag came back to Charles Bell, 62, of Serenade Street in Palm Bay, according to police.

Police said officers met with Robert Reed, 42, at the house.

Investigators said Reed told police he was not involved in an accident.

Officers found Bell in the living room watching television.

Bell matched the description the victim gave police, according to the arrest affidavit.

Police said Bell was detained and escorted to the patrol car.

Investigators said Reed was upset with Bell getting detained.

Authorities said Reed is accused of threatening officers during this process.

Later on, the victim was able to tell police both men in custody were the men involved in the crash.

Officers said Bell told police he was sorry about the accident.

Police said Bell told officers he offered the victim free food from Chili's.

Investigators said Bell told police he was drinking at a bar while watching football and did not mean for the accident to happen.

Authorities said Reed told Bell to shut up when he was talking to police.

Officers said photos of the victim's crash are consistent with an accident.

Bell was charged with leaving the scene of a crash.

Reed was charged with assault on law enforcement officer, assault and tampering with misdemeanor proceedings. 

 

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