Irvington captain accused of attempting to run down Newark councilman freed on bail, sources say

By Dan Ivers | NJ Advance Media for NJ.com
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on January 06, 2015

Monique Smith, pictured here with the late Freeholder D. Bilal Beasley at a 2008 commendation, allegedly tried to run over a Newark councilman with her car, authorities say.

 

IRVINGTON — The Irvington police captain accused of attempting to run down a Newark city councilman Monday night has been freed after posting bail, sources said.

Monique Smith, 43, had been jailed since early today on charges including aggravated assault, stalking, harassment and weapons offenses for allegedly ramming her vehicle into a car driven by Newark South Ward Councilman John Sharpe James late Monday.

Multiple law enforcement sources said she was held at the Newark Police Department lockup for most of the day before posting 10 percent of her $75,000 bail.

Police say Smith, a veteran of the Irvington force who spent time commanding its Internal Affairs unit, began yelling at James near his home at around 11 a.m. Monday.

The councilor drove off in his vehicle, and Smith followed suit, allegedly striking his car multiple times.

James eventually made his way to a Wilbur Avenue home owned by his father, longtime former Newark mayor Sharpe James, who was able to put a stop to the confrontation, according to police.

Smith was found at a different location this morning and taken into custody.

An investigation by Newark police remains active, and additional charges may be filed. A representative for the Essex County Prosecutor's Office said its Professional Standards Bureau and Domestic Violence Unit are also investing the incident.

Officials said Smith has been suspended without pay from her current post with the Irvington Police Department’s personnel division. She earned a salary of $116, 252 in 2013, according to payroll records.

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