An Update On Passaic Women Shot By Clifton Police In Passaic Last Month

12 01 2008

A Passaic woman shot and wounded by Clifton police last month after she allegedly rammed her car into police cruisers will require surgery on a stomach wound that is not healing properly.

Michele M. Moleti is home on $25,000 bail and has been meeting with physicians for follow-up treatment, her lawyer, Marco Laracca, told state Superior Court Judge Marilyn Clark in Paterson on Friday.

Moleti was hospitalized at St. Joseph’s Regional Medical Center for about a week last month before being transferred to the Passaic County Jail infirmary, where she continued receiving treatment before posting bail.

Last month, her lawyer told Clark during a bail review hearing that Moleti was in serious danger of losing an arm because of her injuries.

At a follow-up hearing Friday, however, Laracca said Moleti’s arm is healing well and appears to be out of danger.

Moleti, 34, is charged with aggravated assault, eluding police, possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose and unlawful possession of a weapon.

The “weapon” in this case was her mother’s car.

Authorities said in court last month that Moleti had two partially consumed bottles of vodka in her car when the incident occurred, and that she later admitted to drinking and using a controlled dangerous substance that day.

Moleti led police on a low-speed chase from Clifton to Passaic on Dec. 5, then rammed her car into police vehicles, according to authorities.

After she finally pulled over, Moleti allegedly struck one of the officers with her vehicle, prompting four officers to fire 20 bullets at her.

Authorities have said she was struck by six of those bullets, injuring her in the neck, arms and torso.

Michael De Marco, Passaic County senior assistant prosecutor, did not object to keeping Moleti’s bail at $25,000 pending an update hearing on her case, scheduled for Feb. 7. The case is currently awaiting grand jury action.

The four officers involved in the shooting were assigned to limited duty while the Passaic County Prosecutor’s Office investigates their actions. Officials have said it appears that the officers were justified in their use of force.





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