An apology


SCI Houtzdale

Dear citizens of Lock Haven and Williamsport, it is my duty, as a citizen of the United States of America, and more importantly, as a Christian, to make the proper amends with the people who I have affected. My behaviors on May 5, 2015, were absolutely outrageous. They were reckless, dangerous and unacceptable. There are no excuses for my actions. I had no reason to run from the police. They were only trying to help me because I was under a lot of mental distress and they were called to do a welfare check when I tried getting shelter at the American Rescue Workers. I believe that there is no excuse for my actions. I knew exactly what I was doing and I chose to make a poor day into a really poor day. I am truly and sincerely remorseful for my actions that hurt so many people, not only emotionally but physically, too.

I am not seeking your forgiveness or your sympathy. This is a personal choice. I am only obligated to seek out peace and comfort in knowing that I was able to reach out to the people of Lock Haven and express my apology. The people of Lock Haven and Williamsport have to live with the fact that crime still exists and people like me have to make sure that these crimes never happen again.

During my time incarcerated I have learned that violence is never the answer. I have been able to open my eyes and realize that this is not the life I want to live. My parents did not raise me to be a criminal. I am ashamed of the fact that I tainted my family’s name because of the stupid and reckless decision I made in May of 2015. My mother has been supportive throughout these years and I have been doing everything I need to do in order to rehabilitate myself. I re-committed my life to Christ in July 2016 and I have been able to learn more about God’s rescuing love. In a way, I was rescued by God by my arrest because He saw where I was headed and decided it was time for a change. I believe it and I am sticking to it. I want to thank the local, county, township and state law enforcement agencies for keeping their composure during my arrest. Under the scrutiny that law enforcement officers have been under over these last few years, I understand that it was difficult to not beat the living daylights out of me because I know I deserved it.

I have nothing against law enforcement. I never have. In Iowa, I had only been charged with misdemeanors. I had never in my life resisted arrest until this. I respect authority. May 2015 was not about my race. It was not about the black lives matter movement. It was about a man who made bad decisions and that man is now paying the price. I am that man. Law enforcement, from what I have understood, had me dead to rights. My vehicle was being used as a weapon and I am lucky to be alive. Law enforcement saved my life that day.

Today, I am 25 years old. I am a new person. Every day I wake up realizing that if I go back to my old ways, what I see around me will be what I will wake up to for the rest of my life. Being in prison has made me realize that I am not a juvenile anymore. No more slaps on the wrist. No more chances. No more “mommy, can you pick me up from jail.”

That’s all dead and gone. This is the real deal and I deserve every last ounce of it. In conclusion, the people of Lock Haven and Williamsport are forever in my debt. Most importantly, my victim is in my greatest debt. You all deserve better. I will be better.

(Editor’s Note: Alex S. Bell led law enforcement on a high-speed chase from Williamsport to Lock Haven in May 2015 before crashing on Bellefonte Avenue in downtown Lock Haven.)