Queens man spends five months in Rikers unaware his bail was only $2
A Queens man who spent five months in prison found out later that his bail had been set at $2 the whole time, but a missed court date resulted in that figure being raised.
Aitabdel Salem, 41, was put in Rikers Island after a Nov. 21, 2014, arrest for allegedly attacking an NYPD officer who was apprehending him in relation to a coat theft, the New York Daily News reported. Salem was unaware that prosecutors could not get an indictment related to the police assault, which carried a $25,000 bail, and he was ordered released on that charge one week later.
Salem, though, still had dollar bails set on charges of tampering and mischief, bringing his total bail amount to $2, the Daily News added. Judges may set dollar bails if they believe a defendant’s existing bail on other charges is sufficient; this was apparently not revealed to Salem.
"[Salem] was shocked and dismayed and frustrated that his case was unconscionably mishandled and there was no communication by his attorney telling him his bail was $2, which he could have made at any moment," one of Salem’s new attorneys, Glenn Hardy, was quoted by the Daily Mail.