Ronald Demetrian Bell Jr. and William Deaval Lofton are facing charges of felony 2nd-degree recklessly endangering safety and were ordered to have no contact with Officer Joseph Mensah and his girlfriend, according to court records obtained by Wisconsin Right Now. The charges are in connection with the high-profile incident at Officer Joseph Mensah’s girlfriend’s home, a law enforcement source said.
Mensah previously wrote on Facebook that he and his girlfriend, who is also a police officer, were shot at and assaulted during that incident.
Bell is also accused of “Battery or Threat to Judge, Prosecutor, or Law Enforcement Officer” as a Party to a Crime, also a felony, the court records show. Bell and Lofton are listed as co-defendants.
Update: Wisconsin Right Now tracked down Bell’s mother for an in-person interview; she confirmed what a source already had: That he’s accused of being involved in the shooting incident at Mensah’s girlfriend’s house. Read more about Bell’s background and the mother’s comments here. Wisconsin Right Now also confirmed his Facebook page, which contains a tribute to the Gangster Disciples gang and pictures of what appear to be drugs.
Wisconsin Right Now was the first media outlet to break the story on Aug. 18. On Aug. 19, we obtained the criminal complaint against Bell and his co-defendant William Deaval Lofton. It says that a “caravan of citizens and vehicles” that were previously at Mayfair Mall arrived at the home of Mensah’s girlfriend. “Numerous individuals engaged in a confrontation with (Mensah’s girlfriend and Mensah) outside of the residence,” the complaint says. “During the confrontation, both (Mensah’s girlfriend and Mensah) were assaulted by numerous individuals and sustained bodily harm.”
According to a Facebook page of Bell’s confirmed by Wisconsin Right Now, Bell posted a tribute to the Gangster Disciples street gang, flashed large quantities of cash, and posted pictures of what appeared to be drugs. You can see more about that page below.
The complaint alleges that Bell “admitted that he was the individual with the shotgun during the Aug. 8 incident…Bell also stated that the gun discharged while he was holding it, striking the residence, while he was confronting (Mensah and his girlfriend). Bell agreed that the behavior was reckless and dangerous when he physically confronted (Mensah) while holding a loaded shotgun and that he put several people in danger when the shotgun discharged. Bell also acknowledged that he was striking (Mensah) and that he knew (Mensah) was a police officer.” He had been at several “other events” regarding “(Mensah’s) actions with the same group of people.”
The complaint alleges that Bell was carrying a shotgun and “joined the assault” on Mensah and his girlfriend. “During the assault, Bell was holding a shotgun and it discharged, striking the doorframe to the residence with several people, including (Mensah and his girlfriend) nearby.” After the assault, a video shows a black Yukon GMC driving by with a person on the roof. It stopped to pick up Bell, the complaint says, and was driven by Lofton, the complaint alleges. Investigators found a hole consistent with a shotgun slug in the door frame of Mensah’s girlfriend’s house.
The complaint says that Niles McKee “acknowledged that he provided the shotgun used at the residence of (Mensah and his girlfriend). McKee stated that he placed the shotgun inside of the vehicle being driven by Lofton, which was also occupied by Bell. McKee got back into the vehicle of another protester who then followed the group to the home of (Mensah and his girlfriend). Once McKee arrived there, he saw that Bell had removed his (McKee’s) shotgun from its
case and was carrying it via its attached sling. McKee also stated that Lofton informed him that Bell had already loaded the shotgun.”
The complaint alleges that McKee stated that after several people confronted (Mensah and his girlfriend), a smaller group gave chase and continued accosting (Mensah and his girlfriend). McKee stated that during a struggle on the stoop of the residence, McKee heard the shotgun discharge. McKee stated that after the crowd began to disperse, Bell approached McKee and gave him back the shotgun. McKee then placed the shotgun back inside of its case and placed it back inside Lofton’s vehicle. McKee stated that he then got on top of Lofton’s vehicle to look at the crowd and Lofton began to drive away.”
Wauwatosa police did not return requests for comment on Aug. 18; they have not publicly released the suspects’ names, although Police Chief Barry Weber previously stated publicly that the suspect accused of shooting at Mensah was identified.
A law enforcement source told Wisconsin Right Now Aug. 18 that the charges against both Bell and Lofton stem from the highly publicized incident at the home of Mensah’s police officer girlfriend. Mensah said previously in a statement on Facebook that he and his girlfriend were attacked and shot at during that incident when a group of demonstrators came to her home; cell phone videos captured people milling on her grass and throwing toilet paper. Wauwatosa police say a gun was fired. not by Mensah, and that he was targeted with a planned act of violence.
Bell was taken into custody on Aug. 13, and booked into the Milwaukee County Jail, records show. Lofton was taken into custody the day before, according to jail records.
The cases had been kept quiet from the public even though the criminal complaint was filed against Bell on Aug. 16. The law enforcement source said that’s because the investigation is ongoing and charges could result against others.