Name That Spud

Will the real Lavell Webb please stand up?

John Fougere, public information officer for the Missouri Department of Corrections, says there are five different Antonio Bells in the department database but confirms that an Antonio Bell of St. Louis, born December 21, 1978, was incarcerated at Boonville at the same time as Lavell Webb and was released on parole on December 24, 2003.

Richardson says the impostor bears a faint resemblance to the real Lavell Webb, based on photos she has seen of the rapper. "I'm trying to compare that with what he looked like, and I was like, okay, could this be him?" she says. "He's got brown skin. What really stood out was his lips. He has very full lips and sleepy brown eyes. He fits the mold of what City Spud could look like. He could pass for him."

Richardson has opted not to file a police report. "It was only $200, and the Sprint phone," she says. Another victim called the county police department as well, but decided against filing a police report. One Berkeley resident has filed a police report in connection with Antonio Bell. On April 10, 2004, Bell was arrested at 8705 Harold Avenue for destruction of property and giving false or misleading statements to police.

Berkeley police chief Robert Jenne says that when Bell was arrested, he used a false name. "At the time of the arrest, the individual did use a different name other than his legal name," Jenne says. That charge, a misdemeanor, has yet to go to trial, and Bell remains free. He continues to use Lavell Webb's name, and Lavell Webb's story.

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