Trial begins for Irvington Police Capt. Monique Smith, accused of trying to run down ex-boyfriend

Monique Smith (Right) is accused of attacking her ex-boyfriend, Newark Councilman John James.

Monique Smith (Right) is accused of attacking her ex-boyfriend, Newark Councilman John James. (4/6/17)

NEWARK - The trial has begun for an Irvington police captain accused of attacking and trying to run down her ex-boyfriend.

Monique Smith is charged with harassment, motor vehicle violations and using her Honda Accord as a weapon. She is accused of trying to attack her ex-boyfriend, Newark Councilman John James, son of former Newark Mayor Sharpe James.

The attack occurred on the same day in January 2015 that Smith was promoted to captain in the Irvington Police Department. On that day, she received an email from James breaking up with her.

“I just thought it was too many arguments in too short a period of time,” James testified.

In his opening argument to the jury, Smith’s attorney Steven Altman said that it was a cruel way to end the relationship.

“He decides he’s done. They’re toast,” Altman said.

Prosecutors say that after attending a party for her promotion at a local restaurant, an upset Smith drove to the home she was sharing with James. A confrontation between the two led to a car chase through the streets of Newark in which Smith allegedly bumped James' vehicle three times. Prosecutors say it ended at the home of Sharpe James.

“My father got between us. Told me to get in the house,” John James said.

Smith has been suspended from the Irvington Police Department since the time of the incident.

The trial is expected to continue Wednesday. The former Newark mayor is expected to testify.

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