Bogota, NJ – A New Jersey judge released a repeat offender just 10 hours after he assaulted a police officer.
Kareem Gibbs, 25, was arrested Friday, after he resisted arrest in Bergen County, and seriously injured a decorated police officer.
Bogota Police Captain James Sepp said Officer Walter Kumka was making a traffic stop Friday night on Linden Ave., when he encountered an individual with two outstanding warrants, according to the Daily Voice.
Gibbs attempted to flee on foot, but Officer Kumka chased him down, Capt. Sepp said.
When Officer Kumka caught him, Gibbs resisted arrest, fighting with the officer.
Officer Kumka had to be hospitalized for a broken finger, swelling and bruising on his face, a bloody nose, and cuts and scrapes on his arms, the captain told Daily Voice.
The injured officer will miss four to six weeks of work to recover, he said.
Gibbs was charged with aggravated assault on a law enforcement officer, resisting arrest, hindering apprehension, possession of crack with the intent to distribute it, and possession of marijuana.
The officer he attacked had previously received a Certificate of Commendation for arresting an accused dealer who the police chief said was selling a lot of drugs, according to the Bogota Police Department’s Facebook page.
Officer Kumka also was the first Bogota police officer to qualify to be a member of the Bergen County Sheriff’s Department SWAT team, according to Bogota Blog NJ.
The judge released Gibbs, without bail, less than 10 hours after he was arrested, despite the fact he’d had multiple pending warrants at the time he put a police officer in the hospital, the Daily Voice reported.
However, releasing violent felons without bail is now acceptable according to New Jersey’s 2017 bail reform law, under which nearly all defendants are expected to be released with no monetary bail, according to NJ.com.
The Bail Reform and Speed Trial Act includes an assessment in Central Judicial Processing, to determine if a defendant is a flight risk, a danger to the community or a threat to a witness.
Some defendants, classified as high risk for failing to appear in court, can be released on a combination of monetary bail and supervision, or held without bail, but it’s all at the discretion of the judge hearing the case.
As Gibbs already had two outstanding warrants at the time of his arrest, which meant that he had already failed to appear in court on those cases.
His history of raping a teenager, attacking a police officer, running from the police, and failing to appear in court was not enough to classify him as “high risk.”
What do you think of the “flexibility” New Jersey’s new bail laws give the judge? Should a criminal who just attacked a cop be released without bail? We’d like to hear from you. Please let us know in the comments.