Thought provoker De Kuyper remains in NYC jail
Lewes resident John Scott de Kuyper remains behind bars in a Manhattan jail after a judge refused to lower his bail during a Feb. 27 court appearance.
Despite an earlier report that de Kuyper was home after his Feb. 22 arrest for carrying a gun into a New York City courthouse, his lawyer, Gideon Oliver, said de Kuyper failed to make the $50,000 cash bail or secure a $300,000 secured bond required to let him out of Metropolitan Detention Center in Manhattan. A judge also refused to lower de Kuyper's bail, but Oliver said he might try to get the amount reduced within the next couple of weeks.
"New York gun law is some of the most draconian in the country," Oliver said. "Basically, if you possess a firearm and it's outside your home or business, you're looking at a violent felony charge with a mandatory minimum."
The minimum is two years in prison. Oliver said he and de Kuyper's wife, Donna, are working with the District Attorney's Office trying to reduce de Kuyper's violent felony charge of second-degree criminal possession of a weapon.
De Kuyper, 53, appeared in court Feb. 22 to receive a community service sentence for a series of charges filed against him following an Occupy Wall Street protest in Times Square Oct. 15.
YouTube footage of the protest shows de Kuyper - clearly visible wearing a green shirt, black beret and backpack – pushing through the crowd toward police on the front lines. After what appears to be a heated exchange, de Kuyper lunges at a police officer identified in court documents as Chief of Department Joseph Esposito, reportedly the highest-ranking uniformed member of the NYPD.
The video shows de Kuyper grabbing the front of the police officer's shirt; court documents state de Kuyper tried to tear the officer's badge off his uniform.
Following his arrest, de Kuyper was charged with fourth-degree attempted grand larceny, second-degree obstruction of governmental administration, resisting arrest and disorderly conduct.
In a previous interview, Donna de Kuyper said her husband inadvertently left his .45-caliber handgun and ammunition in his backpack, instead of putting it in his vehicle glove box before entering the courthouse.
Donna de Kuyper declined to comment further on her husband's detention.
Oliver said de Kuyper and Donna have given the District Attorney's Office full access to cell phones, emails and other electronic devices. He said he was confident prosecutors would not find any incriminating evidence.
"To date, nothing fishy has popped up," Oliver said.
During de Kuyper's Feb. 27 court appearance, Oliver said he delayed a grand jury indictment on the felony charge by two weeks.
De Kuyper's next court appearance is scheduled for March 12. Until then, Oliver said the District Attorney's Office could forward de Kuyper's case to the grand jury or decide not to indict him.
In the meantime, Oliver said he's trying to reduce the charge against de Kuyper and get him out of jail, particularly for health reasons.
De Kuyper has stage IV thyroid cancer, and Oliver said he's trying to get him the medical care he needs.
"It's treatable but not curable," Oliver said.
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