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Updated: August 27, 2022, 6:35 AM

Judge Paul McDonnell cuts career criminal accused of hitting NYPD officer loose

By Joe Marino and Melissa Klein

A Manhattan judge let a career criminal on lifetime parole who allegedly punched one cop and tried to bite another waltz out of his court without bail — the second time this week the jurist let a recidivist walk free, The Post has learned.

Manhattan Criminal Court Judge Paul McDonnell released Nathaniel Turner even though a prosecutor had asked for $20,000 bail.

Turner was instead given supervised release despite having been placed on lifetime parole for robbery in December, according to sources.

McDonnell, who was appointed by former Mayor Bill de Blasio, also let a serial shoplifter free on supervised release after she was hit with 37 criminal charges.

PBA President Patrick Lynch said the parole system is “broken” — and “judges like this refuse to protect the public.”

“All we have are two revolving doors – one putting violent criminals back on the streets, and another putting cops and innocent victims in the hospital. It has to change,” he said.

Turner, 55, was busted after he was allegedly spotted getting ready to smoke crack on West 36th Street Wednesday afternoon, sources said.

He ran from officers who caught up to him and he allegedly socked one of them in the face, sending the cop to the hospital where he was released after treatment for swelling and bruising. Turner attempted to bite another cop who used a Taser to subdue him, according to sources. 

He was arraigned on charges of felony assault to a police officer, attempted assault and criminal possession of a controlled substance.

“Defendant also has an extensive criminal history, including four violent felony convictions, one nonviolent felony conviction, six misdemeanor convictions, two failures to appear, an escape charge, a probation revocation, and three parole revocations,” prosecutor Nicole Hoehle said.

Turner, a resident of the Bellevue Men’s Shelter, had been arrested in 2019 for allegedly assaulting a cop on the roof of a NYCHA building, sources said.

The Manhattan District Attorney’s Office didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment Saturday.

“Our criminal justice reform laws give the arraigning judge narrow discretion and require them to consider both the least restrictive form of pretrial detention and if a monetary amount is set – that it be within the defendant’s ability to meet it,” said Lucian Chalfen, a court system spokesman.

Law enforcement sources were dismayed by the latest case of junk justice.

“Someone has to die now before anyone spends a night in jail,” one source fumed.

Turner’s release comes after the no bail release of paroled, convicted sex offender Bui Van Phu who was accused this month in a violent sucker punch attack of a 52-year-old. He wasn’t brought back into custody until Gov. Kathy Hochul intervened.