When bystanders claimed they saw a youth pastor molesting a 6-year-old boy, they stepped in and assaulted the man in order to stop him from molesting the child any further.
The boy, a 6-year-old kindergartner, had been lured by Willie Lee Bell Jr. behind an apartment building, where Bell is accused of molesting him. Bell was an unordained student pastor at First United Methodist Church of Cedar Hill in Texas. He has also been implicated in a February sexual assault of two children ages 6 and 7. The children reported being assaulted by a man wearing “church shoes.”
“It’s painful. It’s devastating. It’s a nightmare,” the mother of the 6-year-old victim told Fox4.
The mother said she was grateful to the witnesses who intervened and stopped Bell.
“They just happened to look out their patio and saw that he was back there with a child and they were like, ‘What are you doing out there with a child?'” she says.
“And he was like ‘Oh nothing, he had to pee.’ My child knows if he has to use the bathroom he’ll come up to the apartment to use the bathroom,” she explained. “If it wasn’t for them he probably would’ve did more to my child.”
Bell’s Facebook page lists him as an agent at Allstate Insurance, a pastor and “just a hard-working, ambitious, black male.”
Dallas police have arrested Bell and his church released a statement saying it had no knowledge of any criminal acts he committed, but was cooperating with the investigation. Similarly, the principal at a local elementary school in Cedar Hill sent out an email to parents acknowledging that Bell had come to the school to inquire about setting up a mentorship program, but no program was put in place and he was never left alone with children.