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No wrongdoing in suicide at Hackensack police headquarters, prosecutor says

Photo Credit: Cliffview Pilot

YOU READ IT HERE FIRST: The Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office found no signs of wrongdoing when a 27-year-old man hanged himself in a Hackensack police holding cellFriday afternoon.

City police are conducting a “full internal investigation and review of the circumstances surrounding the incident,” Capt. Tomas Padilla said today.

An initial review indicates that Mr. [Daniel] Hopkins took his own life at approximately 5:15PM [Friday], less than 15 minutes after he was arrested, Padilla, the department commander, said in a statement this afternoon.

The prosecutor’s office “was notified and conducted the initial investigation,” Padilla wrote. “At this time, they report no evidence of any criminality.”

Hackensack police arrested Hopkins on Jan. 10 of this year on charges of shoplifting and receiving stolen property, records show.

City police also discovered he’d been wanted out of Jefferson Township for failing to appear in court on a motor vehicle summons in June 2009, CLIFFVIEW PILOT has learned.

Going further back, criminal records show a series of arrests dating to January 2006, when Hopkins was charged with driving while on the revoked list.

Other charges that followed over the next year included speeding and careless driving. Hopkins was later charged with shoplifting out of Rochelle Park.

Padilla recounted the events of Friday:

“On Friday, May 18, 2012, at approximately 4:39 PM, members of the Hackensack Police Department arrested Daniel Hopkins, age 27. He was arrested on an active contempt warrant (W2009-000610-0223). The original charge was 2C:20-7A/Receiving Stolen Property.

“Mr. Hopkins was eventually placed in one of our holding cells at approximately 5:01PM. At approximately 5:40PM officers observed he was unconscious, apparently resulting from him using his t-shirt to hang himself.

“Officers immediately rendered aid by cutting him down and summoning emergency medical personnel. Mr. Hopkins was subsequently pronounced dead at 6:02PM.”

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