Man arrested after attempted sexual assault of student at Chapman University

Local news

A man wanted in connection with a reported attempted sexual assault of a student at Chapman University has been arrested, officials announced Tuesday.

The suspect, 22-year-old Dalante Jerome Bell, of Anaheim, was brought to the campus to surrender by a family member, and the Orange Police Department was notified, police said in a Facebook post.

“Family members brought him here and said if he did it, we want him to be responsible and have justice for the victim,” Orange police Sgt. Phil McMullin said. “We’re very grateful for the family member that brought him in. It’s not every day that they are willing to and in this circumstance we just want to say thank you and you did the right thing.”

Bell was arrested and booked on suspicion of assault with intent to commit rape. He is not a student at the campus and has no connection to the university, police said.

The victim, an 18-year-old student at the university, said she was assaulted by a man who was wearing a skeleton mask and an all black outfit outside of Henley Hall shortly before 1 a.m. Sept. 24.

The woman, who wanted to remain anonymous, said she saw the assailant lingering around, and at first thought it was a friend who was trying to prank her.

“He takes a few more steps closer … I’m like ‘OK, this is not a friend of mine, this is actually not good.’ And he punches me in the face and I hit the trash can behind me,” she told KTLA.

Police said after the attack, the woman fell to the ground and the assailant touched her intimate parts.

On Monday, authorities released video of the man they described as the suspect in the attack. Bell was arrested later that night.

“We will not tolerate this type of heinous criminal activity in Orange,” Police Chief Dan Adams said. “We hope the students and staff of Chapman University and residents of Orange can regain a sense of safety knowing this suspect has been arrested and we are confident he will be held to answer on the charges.”

Bell worked for a company that is contracted to deliver packages for Amazon.

A spokesperson said that although Bell is no longer delivering Amazon packages, the company will work with law enforcement to support the investigation.

Anyone with additional information about this case or who knows about other potential victims can contact Detective Costa at 714-744-7521 or scosta@orangepd.org.

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