The Safest Cities in New Jersey in 2015

new jersey crimeNew Jersey crime rates are a constant point of discussion in the news with Camden, Wildwood, and Atlantic City reigning as three of the most dangerous cities in the state. Whether you vacation in New Jersey or live in the state, you may care about the most dangerous areas, but you definitely care about the safest areas. The following is a breakdown of the safest cities in New Jersey.

New Hanover Township

New Hanover Township in Burlington County is considered the safest city in New Jersey and has a population of around 8,000. In 2013, the town reported no violent crime. As a heavy farming community, New Hanover is also a part of the New Jersey Pinelands National Reserve, the first national reserve ever created in the United States.

Old Tappan

With a population of 5.882 people, Old Tappan is a historic town that ranks 2nd on our list of safe New Jersey safe nj citycities. Old Tappan also did not have any reported instances of violent crime in 2013, and their most frequent crimes are thefts and burglaries, but even these numbers are about ten times less than the national average.

Tewksbury Township

Located in Hunterdon County and home to the oldest German-Lutheran parish in New Jersey, Tewksbury Township is ranked third as one of the safest cities in the state with a crime rate that beats the state average by 88 percent.

Chatham Township

Chatham Township located in Morris County has a population of 10, 681 and a crime rate only slightly higher than Tewksbury. The property value and median income are much higher than the state’s average, and this township also has a higher rate of violent crimes such as murders, rapes, and assaults than the previous three towns. Nonetheless, its crime rate is still over 80 percent less than the state’s average.

Park Ridge

Park Ridge is located in the norther part of New Jersey in Bergen County with a population of around 9,000. The city ranks fifth in the list of safest New Jersey cities because of its low crime rate. It only has about eleven violent crimes for every hundred thousand each year. The majority of other crimes are theft and burglaries.

new-jerseyThese are the top five safest cities in the state of New Jersey. Others that almost made the list include Parsippany-Troy Hills, Bernards, Bridgewater, Montgomery, and Byram.

If you or someone you know needs bail assistance in New Jersey, contact Chance BailBonds at 732-984-4101. We offer bail services for anywhere in New Jersey to help get you or your loved one out of jail as soon as possible.

Man Allegedly Beat by Police Pleads Not Guilty to Aggravated Assault and Resisting Arrest

A 22-year-old Linwood man has been charged with aggravated assault on a police officer, resisting arrest, and inflicting harm on a law enforcement animal in the aftermath of a controversial arrest at the hands of the Atlantic City police in 2013.

At around 3:00 AM on the morning of June 15, 2013, David Connor Castellani got into an argument with several

David Connor Castellani confronts Atlantic City Police before being tackled in a controversial 2013 arrest.

A still frame from the video of the arrest.

Atlantic City police officers outside of the Tropicana Casino and Resort. After walking away from the officers to make a phone call to some friends, Castellani walked back toward them and continued yelling. At this point, five officers tackled him, pummeling on the head and chest. Later, a K-9 officer arrives and lets loose his dog.

A video of the incident, which sparked national outrage, is embedded above.

Castellani required more than 200 stitches, spent two days in the hospital and suffered nerve damage as a result of the incident.

In January, a grand jury cleared the officers of wrongdoing, and indicted Castellani for the aforementioned crimes.

“Obviously, based upon the video, I can’t agree that the grand jury got it right, but I guess that’s why we get to examine the process,” said Steven Scheffler, Castellani’s defense lawyer.

“It’s the Atlantic City Police Department that is called into question when you have an incident like this,” said Police Benevolent Association President Paul Barbere, speaking in support of the grand jury’s decision. “Unfortunately, people rush to judgement on very few facts, limited facts.”

The grand jury’s decision came in January, almost two years after the initial arrest. Castellani pleaded not guilty on Monday. Castellani and his family have also had a pending civil case filed against the police officers involved.

The incident is one in a series of allegations of abuse against Atlantic City Police, most of which never see any punitive action against police. According to a report by the Press of Atlantic City, the department had 473 excessive force complaints, only one of which saw an officer disciplined.

Castellani and his attorney, Steve Scheffler, have applied for a pretrial intervention, which could allow him to avoid prosecution. Scheffler also stated that he is in communication about settling the case with First Assistant Prosecutor Diane Ruberton, but is willing to fight in court.

If convicted, Castellani could face 3-5 years in prison for each of the aggravated assault and resisting arrest charges; inflicting harm on a law enforcement animal is a fourth-degree offense and could result in up to 18 months in prison.

If you find yourself arrested by the Atlantic City police for any reason, be sure to call Chance BailBonds to get fast bail bonds services 24 hours a day, get back home, and begin planning your defense.

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Olawale Agoro: Hackensack, NJ Man Jailed for Impersonating Blind Twin Brother in Court

Imagine you get a court summons for a handful of motor vehicle violations. You make your court date, but instead of arguing your case before the judge, you claim to be your own legally blind twin, “Tony,” and ask that your brother’s date be postponed. Then you walk out of the room, having convinced the court that you were your own, imaginary twin brother.

It sounds like something out of a TV show or a daydream, but it’s exactly what Hackensack man Olawale Agoro did in Bergen County. And it worked – for a while.

Olawale "Brother Tony" Agoro

Olawale Agoro

Agoro was issued five motor vehicle summonses on July 31, 2014 and appeared in court on September 19, claiming to be Olawale’s legally blind identical twin brother Tony. Agoro claimed that his “brother” couldn’t make it to court, and that he was asking on his behalf for a later court date.

When Agoro left the court he convinced a good Samaritan to drive him around the corner, claiming he couldn’t drive his own car due to blindness, before taking over as driver once out of sight of the courthouse.

Not one to be fooled, however, the original arresting officer Matthew Parodi knew that Agoro was faking, and pulled him over again immediately. Parodi issued three more tickets and had Agoro’s car impounded. Agoro dropped the pretense of blindness in order to get his car back.

Agoro appeared before court clerks twice more as Tony, asking for adjournments on the grounds that his brother Olawale was in Nigeria mourning the death of their father. The clerks granted the two adjournments.

When he finally missed his day in court in February, warrants were issued for Agoro’s arrest. He appeared in court again as Tony, this time arousing the suspicion of the clerks. They called police, who questioned Agoro and were able to conclude that “Tony” never existed.

Agoro was sent to Bergen County Jail in lieu of $20,000 bail, which he was unable to pay.

The moral of the story: don’t pretend to be your imaginary blind twin brother in court four times. You’ll get found out. The other moral: if you’re being held on bond in New Jersey, call Chance BailBonds and avoid the trip to jail.

How Do Bail Bonds Work?

bail bondsWhen a person is arrested for a crime, a judge typically sets bail, a sum of money that must be paid to the court in exchange for the person to be freed pending trial. The judge hopes that by charging bail, the defendant will show up for all court appearances in order to eventually recover the bail money.

If the judge sets a high bail that the defendant cannot afford, the person can seek help from a bail agent, or bail bondsman. The bail agent is backed by a surety company, a type of insurance company. The surety company agrees to pay the full amount of the bail to the court if the defendant misses any court appearances, or “skips bail.”

In exchange for promising to pay the cost of full bail if the defendant does not show up, the bail agent charges the defendant a non-refundable premium, which is typically 10 percent for state charges and 15 percent for federal charges. The premium may be higher in some areas, and some bail bondsmen charge additional fees. Bail agents also generally collect some type of collateral, such as the title to a house, car, or boat; jewelry; or electronics.

Defendants often seek the help of a friend or family member to find a bail agent and get out of jail. The friend or family member often pays the bail agent’s premium and provides collateral. By involving a friend or family member in the process, the defendant is usually less inclined to skip bail because he or she feels personally accountable to the person who is helping.

If the defendant skips a court appearance, the bail agent must pay the promised amount to the court. The agent can then seek payment from the defendant. The bail bondsman may sue the defendant or claim assets that belong to the defendant or anyone else who signed a contract with the bail bond company. The bail bond agent can also hire a bounty hunter to find the person who skipped bail. The bounty hunter receives a percentage of the money recovered.

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Ibn Shabazz, 24, of Newark, NJ is being charged with aggravated assault and a weapons charge after allegedly stabbing and killing Al Rasheed Metz on Friday, May 30th, 2014.  According to reports, Shabazz and Metz got into an argument that turned into a physical altercations.  Shabazz then allegedly stabbed Metz with an unknown weapon.  Metz was later pronounced dead at the scene.

Shabazz’s is being held in Essex County Jail where bail was set at $350,000.

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