Shots Fired at West Melbourne Police Officer
West Melbourne, Fla- A West Melbourne Police Officer attempted to conduct a traffic stop Monday night, December 11, 2017 around 9:20pm on Sylvan Drive in West Melbourne. The vehicle he attempted to stop, a 2016 white Nissan Altima, had been speeding on Sheridan Road. As the vehicle proceeded down Sylvan Drive, the officer activated his emergency lights to conduct the stop. The driver of the vehicle responded by firing multiple gun shots at our officer out the driver’s window. The officer backed off, then again attempted to get closer to the vehicle to obtain the license plate number. The driver again fired multiple shots at our officer. The officer was not injured and none of the rounds struck the police car.
The officer lost sight of the vehicle when it proceeded back out to Sheridan Rd. The vehicle was located a short time later in the 400 block of Lemon Grove Ave .
The West Melbourne Police Officer involved in this incident is Officer Joseph Jones. Jones is an 18 year veteran of the force. Again, he was not injured during this incident and we are not aware of any other innocent victims.
West Melbourne Police Detectives have been working around the clock since this incident occurred. After conducting multiple interviews, executing search warrants, and examining physical evidence, detectives developed probable cause for the arrest of Joseph Alan Bellinger. Information was received that Bellinger was in a residence at 180 District St SE in the C i ty of Palm Bay. Detectives with the West Melbourne Police Department and Palm Bay Police Department’s Special Investigations Division maintained surveillance most of the day while probable cause was established.
An arrest warrant was issued. It charged Bellinger with attempted felony murder of a law enforcement officer, aggravated assault with a firearm, aggravated fleeing and attempting to elude a la w enforcement officer, and discharging a firearm in public. West Melbourne Police partnered with the Palm Bay Police Department’s SWAT Team to serve a search warrant at 180 District St SE to affect Bellinger’s arrest . Bellinger was taken into custody without incident.
Bellinger will be incarcerated at the Brevard County Jail with no bond. He will go before a judge tomorrow at 1:15 pm. Additional charges are pending.