Chief Investigative Reporter Jonathan Dienst on crime, corruption and terrorism.

Assistant Basketball Coach Had Cocaine in Car, Fled Cops and Assaulted Detectives: Police

Jimmie D. Smith is a freshman basketball coach at Kennedy High School in Paterson, N.J.

Thursday, Aug 29, 2013  |  Updated 10:53 PM EDT
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NJ Coach Flees Cops, Found With Cocaine in Car: Police

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A New Jersey assistant high school basketball coach was arrested Wednesday evening after he allegedly sped away from police, who later found 7 ounces of cocaine in his car, authorities said.

Detectives approached Jimmie D. Smith, a freshman basketball coach at John F. Kennedy High School in Paterson, in the parking lot of a Home Depot store as he sat in his SUV, according to police. When they turned on their lights and identified themselves as officers, Smith allegedly sped away, hitting one detective's car with his SUV. 

He then abandoned his car and led police on a foot chase, according to prosecutors. When officers caught up with him, he allegedly assaulted and injured two detectives as they attempted to handcuff him. 

Police found more than 7 ounces of powder cocaine in Smith's SUV after his arrest. He could face up to 20 years in prison if he's convicted on the narcotics charge.

Smith was in the Passaic County Jail on $50,000 cash bail. It wasn't immediately known if he had an attorney. 

Prosecutors say Smith has worked in the Paterson School District since 1999 and has been an assistant basketball coach at the high school since 2008. 

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