BERGENFIELD — Two brothers allegedly attacked a Bergenfield police officer who was investigating a double-parked vehicle in the borough Saturday, an incident that led police to criticize the state’s bail reform law after authorities say one of the assailants was released the same day.
Several men took off as Officer Adam Fingeroth stopped to check the vehicle on Howard Drive around 12:30 a.m., according to police. The driver, Junior Jimenez-Mariano, 21, got out and attacked the officer, knocking both men to the ground.
Fingeroth struggled with the driver while Daniel Jimenez-Villanueva, 20, joined the attack, authorities said.
“Officer Fingeroth was now engaged with both males on the ground,” Capt. Mustafa Rabboh said in a news release.
Police from Teaneck, Englewood and Tenafly rushed to assist borough officers. One of the brothers was handcuffed while the other changed his clothes and was spotted among the crowd, according to authorities.
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The brothers, both of Bergenfield, were charged with aggravated assault on a police officer and resisting arrest, Rabboh said. Police also charged Junior Jimenez-Mariano with obstructing a government function and added charges of hindering apprehension for Daniel Jimenez-Villanueva.
Meanwhile, the officer suffered bruising to his face and body, police said. He was discharged from Holy Name Medical Center in Teaneck after receiving treatment.
Daniel Jimenez-Villanueva was freed from custody, according to authorities.
“The new bail reform system enabled Daniel Jimenez-Villanueva to be released to go home while my officer went to the hospital,” said Rabboh, calling it “troubling and deeply disturbing.”
“The system is flawed when an officer lands in the hospital and the [accused] is released the same day,” Rabboh said. “This is an issue that does not sit well with any law enforcement member.”
New Jersey’s bail reform system was implemented this year to move away from cash bail in an effort to limit defendants from being stuck behind bars simply because they couldn’t afford bail. The system uses an assessment to evaluate if a person poses a risk to public safety or likelihood of fleeing.
It was not immediately clear if the brothers had retained an attorney. Junior Jimenez-Mariano remained in custody at the Bergen County jail Saturday, according to sheriff’s records.
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