TRENTON – Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal today announced that two men from New York City have been indicted by a state grand jury for allegedly stabbing two other men during a melee inside the Tropicana Hotel and Casino in Atlantic City, N.J., in July 2020.
Jabari O. Cummings, 31, of Brooklyn, N.Y., and Delroy H. McNeil, 33, of Queens, N.Y., were each indicted on Friday, May 21, 2021, on the following charges:
- Aggravated Assault (2nd Degree)
- Possession of a Weapon for an Unlawful Purpose (3rd Degree)
- Unlawful Possession of a Weapon (4th Degree)
In addition, Cummings is charged with Possession of Cocaine (3rd Degree) and Tampering with Physical Evidence (4th Degree). The indictment was obtained by the Division of Criminal Justice Specialized Crimes Bureau as the result of an investigation by the New Jersey State Police Major Crime Bureau.
On July 20, 2020, just before 3 a.m., a large fight broke out inside the Tropicana involving men from two groups, one from New York City, including Cummings and McNeil, and one from New Jersey. The incident began as a verbal dispute. During a fight in a restroom, McNeil allegedly stabbed a man from the New Jersey group. The victim suffered a stab wound to the chest and a wound to the abdomen. Almost simultaneously, a fight broke out nearby on the casino floor, during which Cummings allegedly stabbed a second man from the New Jersey group. That victim suffered a stab wound to the left side of his chest that lacerated his lung. Both victims survived.
Later that day, the New Jersey State Police were at AtlantiCare Regional Medical Center in Atlantic City investigating the stabbings when they learned that a vehicle connected to the investigation was at the hospital. As detectives approached the vehicle, which was occupied by several people including Cummings, Cummings allegedly tossed two knives and 14 vials of cocaine under the vehicle. This is the basis for the drug and tampering charges against Cummings.
“The New Jersey State Police do an excellent job preserving safety and security in the Atlantic City casinos,” said Attorney General Grewal. “When violence broke out on July 20, 2020, resulting in two serious stabbings, the State Police moved swiftly to identify and arrest the assailants who were responsible. This indictment is an important next step in the prosecution of these defendants.”
“The Division of Criminal Justice Specialized Crimes Bureau works closely with the State Police to investigate and prosecute crimes committed at the Atlantic City casinos, whether they are financial crimes such as identity theft or money laundering, or violent crimes of the type alleged here,” said Director Veronica Allende of the Division of Criminal Justice. “By ensuring that those who commit crimes are apprehended and fully prosecuted, we help to deter this type of conduct in the casinos.”
“When violence erupts in crowded locations, the ensuing chaos can make it difficult for investigators to piece together the sequence of events, but the State Police detectives who investigated both assaults used a variety of investigative techniques to not only make sense of the chaos, but to swiftly apprehend the accused,” said Colonel Patrick J. Callahan, Superintendent of the New Jersey State Police. “I commend the diligent work of our detectives and partners at the Office of the Attorney General who have ensured the suspects are held accountable for their alleged crimes.”
Deputy Attorneys General Jennifer Fipp and Katelyn Waegener presented the case to the grand jury for the Division of Criminal Justice (DCJ) Specialized Crimes Bureau, under the supervision of Deputy Bureau Chief Valerie Butler, Bureau Chief Erik Daab, and DCJ Deputy Director Annmarie Taggart. Attorney General Grewal commended the detectives of the New Jersey State Police Major Crime Bureau for their investigation.
Second-degree charges carry a sentence of five to 10 years in state prison and a criminal fine of up to $150,000, while third-degree charges carry a sentence of three to five years in state prison and a fine of up to $15,000. Fourth-degree charges carry a sentence of up to 18 months in prison and a fine of up to $10,000.
The charges are merely accusations and the defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty in a court of law.
For Cummings: Laura C. Sutnick, Esq., Sutnick & Sutnick, Hackensack, N.J.
For McNeil: Gregory Imperiale Jr., Esq., of Ventnor, N.J.