87% of suspects arrested in Nassau County freed without bail

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87% of suspects arrested in Nassau County freed without bail

More than 87% of suspects arrested in Nassau County between April and June were released back on the streets without bail — including 282 people facing assault charges, according to police data released Monday.

Nassau County Executive Bruce Blakeman presented the latest crime report at a press conference in East Meadow, calling on state legislators to change “woke” bail reform laws, which he and other local officials and community members slammed as “unacceptable.”

Blakeman, a Republican, was joined by Nassau County Police Commissioner Patrick Ryder and two victims who had their car windows smashed earlier this month by a suspect who was freed without bail, despite being charged with 26 felony counts.

“The atmosphere of lawlessness that we have in New York state is the direct result of policies, failed policies in Albany that make our communities less safe,” Blakeman said. “Our police are solving the crimes, they’re making the arrests, but they’re literally handcuffed, pun intended.”

Nassau Police Commissioner Patrick Ryder speaks about bail reform laws at a press conference in East Meadow on Monday.
Nassau Police Commissioner Patrick Ryder speaks about bail reform laws at a press conference in East Meadow on Monday.
Dennis A. Clark

Blakeman stressed that the problem was not exclusive to Nassau County, and that New York City Mayor Eric Adams, a Democrat, has blamed the Big Apple’s spike in crime on the state’s progressive bail reforms and repeatedly called for a rollback of the laws.

In January 2022, Blakeman ordered the signed an Executive Order requiring the Nassau County Police Department to disclose criminal case information, including suspects’ bail status and whether they have been re-arrested following their release.

According to the bail reform crime report for the second quarter of 2022, covering the period between April 1 and June 30, of the 3,019 people who were arrested in the county, 2,641 — or more than 87% — were released without bail.

Out of the people who were allowed back on the streets under bail reform laws, 282 faced assault charges, 103 were arrested on gun-related counts and 487 had drug cases pending.

Tejinder Singh, 28, was arrested on Aug. 5 for allegedly throwing bricks through the windows of 27 cars but was released hours later.
Tejinder Singh, 28, was arrested on Aug. 5 for allegedly throwing bricks through the windows of 27 cars but was released hours later.
Nassau County Police Department
One of the vehicles allegedly damaged by Singh is pictured in East Meadow.
One of the vehicles allegedly damaged by Singh is pictured in East Meadow.
WABC

The report also revealed that out of the 2,641 who were freed without bail, only 195, or about 7%, were re-arrested.

Blakeman expressed frustration about seeing suspected criminals let out without bail “to prey on our communities over, and over and over again.”

He and county law enforcement officials highlighted a recent case, in which 28-year-old Tejinder Singh was arrested for allegedly throwing bricks through the windows of 27 cars parked in East Meadow over the course of three consecutive days in early August.

Singh was charged with 26 felonies but was released without bail just hours later.

“Judge had to let him go,” said Ryder, the police commissioner. “That’s something in the past that would not have happened.”

Juan Vanegas, whose car was damaged in the attack, said during the press conference that the very next day, he spotted Singh sitting on a bench just steps away from the crime scene.

Juan Vnegas, who had his car allegedly vandalized by Singh, said he spotted the suspect sitting on a bench a day after his arrest.
Juan Vnegas, who had his car allegedly vandalized by Singh, said he spotted the suspect sitting on a bench a day after his arrest.
Dennis A. Clark

“We need this law to change,” Vanegas, who’s lived in East Meadow since 2007, argued. “We’re paying taxes… as citizens we beg you, do the right thing. Fight for us.”

Phil Peranzo, who had two of his three vehicles allegedly vandalized by Singh, said he’s been forced to pay for the repairs out of pocket.

“When it comes so close to home, it really, really hurts,” he said. “Right now my heart is broken.”

In a statement to The Post in the wake of the report’s release, Nassau County District Attorney Anne Donnelly said that, “Discretion must be returned to the judges.”

“We renew our call to the New York State legislature to fix bail reform,” Donnelly said.

Lucian Chalfen, a spokesperson for the Office of Court Administration, told The Post in a statement that “judges follow and interpret the law,” and their intent in setting bail is to make sure defendants return to court.

County Legislator Steve Rhoads, a Republican, placed the blame on Gov. Kathy Hochul and her fellow Democrats in Albany, claiming that they are aware that the bail reform laws are not working but “they don’t have the will to fix it.”

“Government’s No 1 responsibility is to keep our citizens safe,” he said. “Nothing else matters if you don’t feel safe in your community and there’s a direct cause, and that’s bail reform.”

Rhoads encouraged Nassau residents to call Democratic state senators and members of the State Assembly to demand change.

“We either need to get the people who are in office now to change the law, or we need to change the people we have in office,” Rhoads added.

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