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Ex-Atlantic City anti-violence worker released from jail in Pool stabbings

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A former Atlantic City anti-violence worker was ordered released from jail Thursday, a week after he was picked up on a fugitive warrant in two stabbings.

Kamal Allen, 35, is accused of seriously injuring two men during a bloody melee inside The Pool at Harrah’s on the eve of Thanksgiving 2022.

“Let’s start right there before we go anywhere else,” Judge Patricia Wild said during a detention hearing Thursday, noting that another Thanksgiving had come and gone and it was now 2024.

“I’ve got a big puzzle here,” she said. “What took so long?”

Allen was one of four men charged shortly after the incident.

He lost his job as a result.

Kamal Allen speaks with BreakingAC during an interview with several members of the anti-violence unit.

“We gave him the opportunity but, as with any city employee who violates the terms of their employment, we have to make a decision,” Mayor Marty Small told BreakingAC. “Our prayers go out to all who have been affected.”

BreakingAC also published follow-up stories referencing Allen’s fugitive status.

But his defense attorney said Allen was unaware he was wanted.

“My client was charged but he never knew he had the warrant,” Durann Neil told the judge, pointing out that Allen remained in Atlantic City, where U.S. marshals picked him up last Tuesday.

Neil also questioned the strength of the state’s case, noting that charges have been dropped against others that originally were charged with Allen.

Less than a week after the incident, police announced that Jamile Rivera was no longer considered a suspect.

Information discussed during the hearing indicated that charges were filed against several people but things changed as the investigation developed.

Dante Braxton, who also is charged with stabbing someone during the fights, was released following a detention hearing last March.

He is back in the jail after a drug arrest in June, court records show.

In the days after the melee, videos made the rounds online showing several fights. Those postings were a big part of the investigation, Assistant Prosecutor Christopher D’Esposito told the judge.

Video surveillance inside the club itself was limited due to the strobe lights and music, he explained.

“What really allowed the investigators to solve the case was cell phone video from patrons who were inside the club that night,” D’Esposito said. “Some was uploaded to social media sites.”

Two of the videos showed Allen, BreakingAC previously reported. Those videos were sent to the judge, according to information provided at the hearing.

But they do not show Allen stabbing anyone, Neil insisted.

“We vehemently deny my client stabbed anyone,” he said.

D’Esposito disagreed.

The one video shows Allen hitting a victim exactly where he was stabbed.

“He then walked his way across the nightclub and stabbed another individual in matter of minutes,” D’Esposito added. “Both men who interacted with this defendant were stabbed. I mean, that’s too much of a coincidence.”

Everyone who came into the club that night went through a metal detector and had their identification scanned, which helped match Allen by his clothing, the assistant prosecutor said.

Video also shows Allen had to be wanded after entering because he set off the detector.

D’Esposito said the wand went off around Allen’s belt buckle, alleging that that is likely where he hid the knife.

Neil contested that allegation.

“We look forward to moving forward in this case,” he said, indicating his client would be cleared.

Neil successfully argued for Allen’s release pending the outcome of the case, noting that he had been on the street in the nearly year-and-a-half since the melee with no further charges.

The judge agreed that showed he was not a danger to the community.

Allen also is working full time at the Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa, Neil added.

The judge said Allen could continue his work at that casino, but barred him from Harrah’s Atlantic City.

She also put him on a higher level of oversight than was recommended by the public safety assessment, which is used to help determined whether a defendant is held under bail reform.

He will have to check in weekly with the court, alternating between in person and by phone.

Allen was still listed in the Atlantic County Justice Facility as of Friday morning.


Lynda Cohen

Lynda Cohen founded BreakingAC after working as a local newspaper reporter for more than two decades. She is an NJPA award-winner and was a Stories of Atlantic City fellow.

Wednesday, May 29, 2024
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