A basketball coach at a Paterson, NJ, high school was arrested and charged with cocaine possession and assault after he crashed his SUV into a law enforcement vehicle, according to the Acting Attorney General.
John F. Kennedy High School freshman coach Jimmie D. Smith, 41, was at a Home Depot on MacClean Ave. Wednesday evening when detectives approached him and flashed their lights, according to the AAG. Smith tried to speed out of a parking lot onto 5th Ave. where he allegedly slammed into one of the detectives’ cars.
After a foot chase, authorities caught up to Smith, who then allegedly assaulted and injured two of the detectives. Inside his car Smith had seven ounces of cocaine, according to detectives.
The arrest comes after an investigation by the Division of Criminal Justice Gangs & Organized Crime Bureau. An informant initially tipped them off that Smith was dealing cocaine.
Smith, who has worked at the school since 1999, faces charges of first-degree cocaine possession with intent to distribute, three counts of second-degree aggravated assault and two counts of third-degree aggravated assault on a police officer.
He is being held in the Passaic County Jail on cash bail of $500,000.
“Smith faces very serious charges, including a narcotics charge that carries a sentence of up to 20 years in state prison,” said Director Elie Honig of the Division of Criminal Justice. “Beyond that, he is charged with violently assaulting the detectives who arrested him. His high bail reflects the serious nature of the allegations against him.”
The most serious charge, the first-degree drug charge, carries a sentence of 10-20 years in state prison and a criminal fine of up to $500,000.