Judge Bronx defies state law, sets bail for Jewish center vandal


A Bronx judge went rogue on Sunday and bailed out $ 30,000 for the alleged vandal accused of terrorizing Riverdale’s Jewish community – even though the man would fall under the state’s new bail reform laws.

Jordan Burnette, 29, was charged with 42 charges, including a number of hate crimes for breaking windows in various synagogues. But none of them are on the so-called “bail-eligible list,” prosecutors noted during his arraignment in the Bronx Criminal Court.


“Given the number of attacks, we probably would have asked for significant bail before January 2020,” Assistant District Attorney Theresa Gottlieb told Judge Louis Nock.

“The legislature has not included hate crimes in the revision of the bail reform and is not eligible under current law,” she added. “We will not break the law.”

But that didn’t stop Nock from setting Burnette’s bail at $ 30,000 for a partially secured bond or $ 20,000 in cash – after he ruled “breaking glass” to be a violent crime.

“I’ve been scrutinizing the law,” said Nock. “Given the seriousness and number of charges he is facing, this court is inclined to demand bail.”

The judge defied prosecutors after initially demanding Gottlieb explain why her office did not request that Burnette, 29, be held on bail, despite his alleged crime.

several synagogues were destroyed with windows and glass doors smashed with stones in the Bronx.
Several synagogues were destroyed with windows and glass doors smashed with stones in the Bronx.
Lev Radin / Pacific Press / Shutterstock

Last month, Nock lawyers told that his hands were “tied” by the law when he released a suspect – wearing a long sheet – after his arrest in the hate crime shoving an undercover Asian cop.

“My hands are tied because under the new bail rules I have absolutely no authority or power to release this suspect on bail for this alleged crime,” the lawyer said at the time.

Attacks that do not cause injury are exempt from bail as part of New York City the reform of the state bail enacted into law last year – allowing suspects of more than 400 nonviolent crimes to roam free without having to pay a penny to get them back to court.

Conservative Synagogue Adath Israel of Riverdale where glass doors were smashed.
Riverdale’s conservative synagogue Adath Israel where glass doors were smashed.
Lev Radin / Pacific Press / Shutterstock

Those offenses include most crimes and even some crimes, ranging from negligent homicide to selling drugs on or near school grounds, The Post previously reported.

The charges against Burnette stem from his alleged 11-day reign of terror against the local Jewish community, in which prosecutors said he smashed synagogue doors and windows, smashed several car windows, and doused a congregation’s prayer books in hand sanitizer.

Prosecutors said Burnette raised the Jewish character of the neighborhood without being asked during his arrest, claiming that he had been arrested for cycling against traffic “because it is a Jewish neighborhood.”

Ohel Menachem Riverdale Jewish Youth Library Lubavitch where glass windows were smashed
Police keep watch in front of Ohel Menachem Riverdale Jewish Youth Library Lubavitch where glass windows were smashed.
Lev Radin / Pacific Press / Shutterstock

The bicycle Burnette was riding was found to have been stolen from one of the synagogues, prosecutors said.

Burnette’s attorney Morgan Everhart was apoplectic about the judge’s unorthodox ruling to keep Burnette behind bars.

“Your Honor, under the bail law, none of the charges apply in this case,” she protested. “These are all nonviolent accusations.”

“I appreciate your commitment. I hope I’m right,” Nock replied before ordering the court to postpone it.

Police are on guard outside the synagogue and the NYPD's Hate Crime Task Force is investigating the incidents.
Police keep watch in front of the Riverdale Jewish Center.
Lev Radin / Pacific Press / Shutterstock

Nock on Sunday also issued the unprecedented ruling to legally prohibit the news media from attempting to talk to Burnette after his release, at the request of Everhart.

The NYPD's Hate Crime Task Force is investigating the incidents
The NYPD’s Hate Crime Task Force is investigating the incidents.
Lev Radin / Pacific Press / Shutterstock

‘I object to the fact that there is some press present at the moment. I object to taking pictures of the defendant, ”Everhart told the judge. “I can’t be in the courthouse with him. I request that you do not allow the press to question him without counsel present. “

Burnette’s mother and sister, who were both present in court, declined to speak to The Post after the judge’s ruling.

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