On September 27, 2012, a Union County jury convicted Reinaldo Gonzalez of second degree Aggravated Assault, third degree Aggravated Assault with a deadly weapon, possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose, unlawful possession of a weapon, and resisting arrest. The three week trial was prosecuted by Assistant Prosecutor Jamel Semper.
The assault took place on the evening of July 23, 2011 when Gonzalez charged after an unarmed man and repeatedly tried to stab him in the chest with a box cutter at the intersection of Morris Avenue and Union Avenue in Elizabeth. The victim attempted to shield his body with a piece of cardboard that was lying on the street. A concerned citizen who witnessed the assault, immediately pulled over her vehicle and ran into the middle of Morris Avenue to alert police officers who were patrolling the area at the time.
Upon observing the concerned citizen run in to the middle of Morris Avenue, Elizabeth Police Officers Yoan Belon and Paulo Fidalgo immediately witnessed Gonzalez attempting to stab the unarmed victim who was trying to evade Gonzalez. Officers Belon and Fidalgo immediately pulled over their squad and attempted to apprehend Gonzalez. During the arrest, Gonzalez fought with both officers before he was eventually subdued.
Under New Jersey law, Gonzalez is extended term eligible and faces up to 20 years in prison when he is sentenced in November 2012.