Sunday morning, about 1 a.m., police were called to an apartment complex on Princeton Boulevard for a report of a suspicious person on a balcony.
The caller gave police a description of the suspicious person, and Officer Dan Demaris soon arrived to find a man fitting that description in a parking lot nearby.
That man, later identified as Travis Bell, 24, of 29 Nelson St., in Lowell, fled from Demaris, but was arrested after a short foot chase and brief struggle, according to police.
During a follow up investigation, officers learned Bell had been seen masturbating in one of the building’s doorways, and that he had been buzzing apartments in the building and saying “inappropriate things” to women who would answer, according to police.
Officers found a knife in Bell’s pocket, according to police.
Bell was charged with open and gross lewdness, resisting arrest and disorderly conduct.
Capt. Kelly Richardson said the person who called police made it easier for officers to respond and take Bell into custody. He also praised the work of Demaris, who responded quickly and chased Bell down.
“Everyone did a good job,” Richardson said. “Calling right away was key, along with the description.”
Bell was released on bail later on Sunday. I’m not sure what happened at his arraignment on Monday. I’ll see if I can track down that info tomorrow. He appears to have an unlisted telephone number.
It appears Bell has a history of other arrests here in Lowell.
Less than a year ago, he was charged with open and gross lewdness.
In 2008, it appears he was charged with armed assault with intent to murder in connection with an incident in which he was accused of assaulting a police officer, a 39-year-old woman, and running over the legs of a 17-year-old boy.
Earlier in 2008, it appears he was charged with assaulting an officer, and domestic assault and battery.
I have no way to tell at this time of night whether Bell was convicted in those cases.