Rap artist Cassidy jailed over probation violation

Posted: May 17, 2011

Rap artist Cassidy is back behind bars, arrested on charges of violating his probation stemming from a 2005 Philadelphia manslaughter conviction, police said.

The rapper, originally from Cedarbrook and whose real name is Barry Reese, was arrested Saturday outside a convenience store in Hackensack, accused of failing to report to his Philadelphia probation officer, police said.

In 2005, Cassidy was charged with the murder of Desmond Hawkins, 22, and the attempted murder of two other men during a shoot-out in an alley behind the rapper's home on the 7800 block of Bayard Street.

After a trial, during which two witnesses recanted their testimony against him, Cassidy was acquitted of murder and convicted of involuntary manslaughter and aggravated assault. He was released from prison in 2006.

The rapper is best known for his 2005 single, "I'm a Hustla," which climbed to No. 5 on the Billboard rap chart. He had been living in Hackensack in recent months, police there said.

Lt. Timothy Lloyd of Hackensack said that the rapper had been the subject of a recent unrelated police complaint in that city, but that no charges were filed. Lloyd would not elaborate on the details of that investigation.

Saturday's arrest was made after the Pennsylvania State Parole Board notified Hackensack police of his reporting violations, Lloyd said. He is being held in Bergen County Prison awaiting extradition to Philadelphia.

His defense attorney, Fortunato Perri, described the violation as "technical."

Contact staff writer Mike Newall at 215-854-2759 or mnewall@phillynews.com.

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