Man arrested at least 120 times now faces sexual assault charge

A judge's effort to stop a 67-year-old homeless man's streak of arrests came too late.

Grady Bell, who has been arrested at least 120 times since 1998, was charged with sexual battery and held in lieu of $101,000 bail Wednesday.

On Tuesday, Bell stood before Palm Beach County Circuit Judge Krista Marx on a trespassing charge. Annoyed, Marx greeted Bell by his first name as she listened to his request for time served. In an effort to halt the constant arrests, she ordered him instead to be held for 24 hours to undergo a mental evaluation.

Within hours, though, the Delray Beach Police Department came forth with new charges against Bell, this time for sexual battery.

According to the arrest report, police in February were called to Delray Medical Center, where a 42-year-old woman said she had been drinking with Bell in a parking lot in the 800 block of Northeast Sixth Avenue, when she passed out drunk.

The woman said she was later awakened by a mutual friend, who said he saw Bell sexually assaulting her, the report stated. When Bell was questioned by the police, he responded, "I probably did that," according to the report.

The charge is one of the most serious lodged against Bell since his first arrest in April 1998, according to Palm Beach County Jail records. Previous charges include trespassing, indecent exposure, simple battery and consuming alcohol in public.

Bell is one of many Palm Beach County repeat offenders who are quite familiar with the Palm Beach County Main Detention Center.

Jonathan B. Goode has been arrested at least 50 times since 2006 for misdemeanors similar Bell's. Goode's most recent arrest was on April 29, 2010 for trespassing, according to jail records. His bond was set at $1,000. He was released from jail on May 17 .