Arrested and released 10 times, burglar now being held

Dawud Ward, 23, was ordered to be detained in Union County, New Jersey court on March 3. He was caught and released nine times previously

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Dawud Ward, 23, of Plainfield (Essex County Department of Corrections)

WASHINGTON, March 4, 2017 – One, two, three… 10 strikes you’re out? Dawud Ward, 23, was ordered to be detained in Union County, New Jersey court on March 3. Ward has been using the court’s revolving door system to commit 10 burglaries of various brashness. Arrested on each, Ward was released due to a cash bail system that said every defendant must give the opportunity to post bail to obtain release.

Pete McAleer, spokesperson for the Administrative Office of the Courts, confirmed that the old bail system would have meant Ward could have been released despite having ten burglary arrests saying that detaining Ward without bail “would not have been possible under the old cash bail system which required all defendants be given the opportunity to post bail.”

Ward just racked up his 10th burglary charge in New Jersey since last fall. Eight of those charges were filed this year after the state’s new bail reform law came into effect.

Following his third arrest in 2017, Ward’s was caught in Maplewood, N.J. on Feb. 22 Ward is being detained. In both of his previous 2017 arrests that occurred within three days of each, Ward was released from jail by judges in Middlesex and Union counties frustrating officers at several of the eight police departments that have worked to charge him.


Det. Joe Indano of South Plainfield called his releases ridiculous.

“When we saw he’d been released in Middlesex County and then again in Union County, the reaction was just, ‘You’ve got to be kidding me,'” Indano says. “Here’s a guy we caught in the act, and we figured let’s see how it plays out with the new law. And sure enough, he’s released. What does it take to keep this guy locked up?”

In Mountainside, Lt. Joseph Giannuzzi  caught Ward in the act of burglary and removed him from the bedroom of a home.

“It’s crazy,” Giannuzzi said. “I guess burglars are not deemed a threat under the new law, but to me they are still a threat to the public. They have no idea if someone is home. How long will this go on before he encounters someone and becomes violent?”

McAleer said that operational improvements have been made to the alert system for cross-county cases since Ward’s release, and that from Jan. 1 to Feb. 27, 748 defendants have been ordered held without bail until trial.

ELIZABETH — How many burglary charges does it take to be held in jail in New Jersey? Dawud Ward, 23, of Plainfield is about to find out. Ward just racked up his 10th burglary charge in New Jersey since last fall. Eight of those charges came this year after the state’s new bail reform law came…

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