A Bronx judge on Sunday refused to release from custody the alleged vandal charged with terrorizing Riverdale’s Jewish community — demanding Bronx DA Darcel Clark’s office explain its decision to not ask for bail for the alleged hate-crime spree.
Judge Louis Nock made the unusual request after Assistant District Attorney Scott McDonald informed him that none of the 42 criminal charges against Jordan Burnette are eligible for bail under the state’s recent reform.
“I don’t think it’s a decision anyone in that office can make. It’s not up to discretion. They’re just not eligible,” Burnette’s attorney Morgan Everhart insisted in court.
“Thank you, Ms. Everhart, for your input but I’m speaking to Mr. McDonald,” Nock interjected. “I am going to make a request, for a supervisor, the person in your office making the decision, in your office, on this matter,” he told McDonald.
Last month, Nock told lawyers that his hands were “tied” when he released a suspect with a lengthy rap sheet on hate-crime charges for allegedly shoving an Asian undercover cop onto the subway tracks.
“My hands are tied because under the new bail rules, I have absolutely no authority or power to set bail on this defendant for this alleged offense,” the jurist said at the time.
Attacks that cause no injury are exempt from bail in New York as part of the state’s bail reform that went into law last year — allowing suspects of more than 400 nonviolent offenses to walk free without having to post a dime to ensure their return to court.
Those offenses include most misdemeanors and even some felonies, ranging from criminally 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 destroyed synagogue doors and windows, smashed multiple car windows and doused one congregation’s prayer books in hand sanitizer.
Prosecutors said Burnette brought up the Jewish character of the neighborhood without prompting during his arrest, asserting that he was pulled over for biking against traffic “because it’s a Jewish neighborhood.”
The bicycle he was riding turned out to be stolen from one of the synagogues.
But none of the charges — including second-, third- and fourth-degree criminal mischief and first-degree aggravated harassment for religious-based harassment — are eligible for bail under the state’s recent reforms, the DA’s office said.
Nock also made the unprecedented ruling to legally bar news media from attempting to speak with Burnette upon his release, at the behest of defense attorney Everhart.
“I am objecting to any press being here at this time. I object to any photographs being taken of the defendant,” Everhart told the judge.
“I am not able to be in the courthouse with him. I ask that you not allow the press to question him without counsel present.”
Burnette was still being held late Sunday afternoon pending the explanation from Clark’s office that Nock demanded.
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