Linden cops involved in capture of 2016 New York pipe bomber retire

LINDEN, NJ — A Linden police officer who helped capture bombing suspect Ahmad Khan Rahimi last year and is now reportedly facing a DWI charge has retired from the force, officials said.

The retirement of Angel Padilla, who worked on the force for 17 years was announced Nov. 1 on the Linden Police Department’s Facebook page in an announcement that said investigator Mark Kahana, who served for 20 years and helped apprehend Rahimi, is also retiring.

“We are very grateful for the years of service that both of these officers gave to the citizens of Linden,” police Chief Jonathan Parham said in a Nov. 2 statement to LocalSource. “We wish them all the best in their retirement.”

Padilla was reportedly shot in the torso during the Sept. 19, 2016, shootout with Rahimi, but officials said he was saved from serious injury because he was wearing a bulletproof vest.

The two officers have been on administrative leave since the shootout, according to Lt. Christopher Guenther. He added that officers are “typically” paid while on administrative leave.

Rahimi faces five attempted murder charges in connection to the shootout with Linden police. He also still faces charges in connection to placing bombs in Elizabeth and Seaside Park. Last month, Rahimi was convicted in federal court of planting two bombs in New York City, one of which exploded and injured 30 people. Convictions in this case will carry a maximum sentence of life in prison.

City and county officials praised the two officers for their involvement in apprehending Rahimi,
“I have known Mark and Angel personally and professionally,” Linden Mayor Derek Armstead said in a Nov. 2 statement. “We thank them for the many years of service to our Linden community. We wish them the best moving forward in this new chapter in their lives.”

In late August, Padilla was arrested by Linden police and charged with driving while intoxicated after his vehicle collided with another one on West St. George Avenue, NJ Advance Media reported.

Police body camera footage obtained by NJAM showed that Padilla failed five sobriety tests. Police reports stated that Padilla told officers he took three prescription medications at the scene of the collision, NJAM reported.

Padilla made $102,562 as an officer and Kahana made $107,512, according to the most recent state records.
Padilla’s case will be heard in Elizabeth Municipal Court; a pretrial conference is scheduled for Nov. 16, but he has not entered a plea, a court official said.