The V.I. Police Department on Monday arrested Reginald Curtis Bell, a 50-year-old Frederiksted man, and charged him with animal abuse and neglect.
The police described Bell as “the individual who claimed to have a disability and used his dogs as ‘service dogs.'” A social media petition with a video shows Bell throwing his dogs into the ocean from the Frederiksted Pier and forcing them to swim long distances. The petition has obtained more than 7,000 signatures.
According to police, Bell continued to commit the same act at the same place numerous times, despite the public pressure of the petition.
At about 2:30 p.m. Monday, the VIPD Animal Cruelty Investigations Unit arrested Bell pursuant to an arrest warrant signed by Superior Court Judge Magistrate Miguel A. Camacho. He was charged with first-degree animal abuse, second-degree animal abuse, and second-degree animal neglect. He was booked and remanded to the Golden Grove Adult Correctional Facility after failing to post a $10,000.00 bail. At his advice of rights hearing, he was released to a third-party custodian pending a follow-up court date.
Two of Bell’s dogs were in his possession at the time of his arrest. They were held by police for protective custody.