Unaware of $2 bail, Aitabdel Salem spends almost 5 months at Rikers.
From November 2014 to April 2015, Queens, New York native Aitabdel Salem was locked up at Rikers Island without knowing his bail was just $2.00. Two dollars. 20 dimes. Eight quarters.
According to the New York Daily News:
"Aitabdel Salem, 41, who was acquitted of bail jumping at a Manhattan Supreme Court trial last week, had been jailed on $25,000 bail for attacking an NYPD cop who was arresting him for stealing a coat at a Zara store in the Flatiron District on Nov. 21, 2014, court papers show.
Although Salem didn’t know it for more than four months, he caught a lucky break when prosecutors could not get an indictment. He was ordered released on Nov. 28, 2014 on the police assault arrest.
But he still had dollar bails set on each of two minor offenses — that included tampering and mischief charges — so he could not have been freed without first paying the tiny amount."
Basically, even after he avoided an indictment for attacking a cop, he was still being held on two $1 bails for tampering and mischief, unbeknownst to him.
In addition to being jailed for nearly five months with a $2 bail, Salem was sent back to Rikers for bail jumping after failing to appear at his police assault arraignment on May 13, 2015- a court date which he claims he never knew about.
Naturally, Salem is blaming his former Legal Aid Society defender, Stephen Pokart, for failing to clue him in on the change of his bail status AND failing to inform him of his mandatory court date, which resulted in him being jailed again.
"You can’t do what you don’t know and if you’re a defendant in a criminal case you certainly have a right to rely upon the system what your next court date is,” Goldbergh [Salem's new attorney] argued in his summation."
Today, Salem remains locked up in the Zara case with a $30,000 bail.