Out on bail for attempted murder, man now facing carjacking charge

An Essex County man arrested in September in connection to a 2014 shooting is now accused of carjacking a woman five days after posting bail.

Clarence Gaffney, 30, of Leslie Street in Newark, was arrested Friday and appeared in court yesterday on the charges of carjacking, resisting arrest and two counts of aggravated assault on law enforcement officers, the criminal complaint says.

Gaffney, who served three years in prison for drug possession and has been arrested numerous times, was picked up in Newark on the outstanding attempted murder warrant on Sept. 23, officials said.

The warrant was issued on Oct. 17, 2014, but Gaffney was never apprehended. He had been on the Hudson County Prosecutor’s Office’s most-wanted list for nearly two years prior to his arrest on the attempted murder charge last month.

According to a police report, Gaffney shot a Jersey City man twice in the back on Martin Luther King Drive on Aug. 28, 2014. The victim, who was 21 at the time, was taken to the hospital in critical condition and underwent surgery for the gunshot wounds.

Following his arrest on the attempted murder charge, he was released from jail Oct. 7 after posting a $150,000 bail.

In the most recent charges, Gaffney allegedly removed vehicle keys from a woman’s hand as she exited a vehicle and then took the vehicle, the complaint says, adding that he was charged after she identified him in a photo array.

During Friday’s arrest, Gaffney allegedly refused to be handcuffed, injured one officer with a kick to the ribs and struggled with another officer, causing back and spine injuries, the complaint says.

Gaffney’s bail on the new charges will be set by Hudson County Superior Court Judge Mark Nelson.

There are also two warrants for Gaffney’s arrest out of Irvington Municipal Court with a total bail of $8,000, an official said when he made his first appearance on the charges in Central Judicial Processing court in Jersey City yesterday afternoon.

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