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AROUND THE STATE FREED MAN HUNTED IN POLICE SHOOTING

A man arrested on a kidnapping charge just weeks ago was released on his own recognizance and is now the prime suspect in the Brooklyn shooting of an undercover police officer, police say.

Dozens of detectives and officers, many of them with dogs, searched today for the suspect, Albert Smith, 32.

Officer Jeff B. Herman, 25, was wounded while trying to arrest Smith. Herman was in stable condition after undergoing surgery. Smith's girlfriend, Joyce Vassel, 32, was also shot by Smith, police said. She was in stable condition with a back wound.

Smith had been arrested May 5 on charges of kidnapping and unlawfully imprisoning Ms. Vassel, authorities said. He was also charged then with possessing a weapon and attempted assault on a police officer, said police spokesman Ed Burns.

At Smith's arraignment May 7, the Brooklyn district attorney's office asked that bail be set at $250. Criminal Court Justice Amy Juviler released Smith on his own recognizance.

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