Update: Charges Against Ja Rule Dropped, Contractor Fears For His Safety

Update: Charges Against Ja Rule Dropped, Contractor Fears For His Safety

A New Jersey contractor who filed a criminal complaint against Ja Rule saying the rapper shorted him out of $8,000 payment, asked a Judge Thursday to dismiss the complaint due to a fear for his safety.

As previously reported, Ja Rule, whose real name is Jeffrey Atkins, hired North Jersey contractor Joel Tobia to fix a bad leak at his $3.5 million SaddleRiver home. Tobia claims his crew of six men completed the work in six days but were only paid $5,000 for a $13,000 job.

During a hearing in Bergen Country Thursday August 16, Tobia told presiding municipal court judge Roy F. McGeady he did not want to go ahead with the complaint.

"People are asking me, do you know what you are doing?" Joel Tobia told the judge. "I have two children. I am concerned. I hope you are reading between the lines."

While McGeady said "it's not my job to read between the lines," the judge granted the contractor's bid to dismiss the complaint.

While Tobia told The Record of Bergen County that he had not been intimidated by Ja Rule, he told the judge he was "extremely uncomfortable" about going forward with the complaint.

While Ja Rule was not present at Thursday's hearing, his attorney, Brian Neary, said the matter was never a criminal case.

"It was a simple dispute between a contractor and a homeowner," Neary told The Record. "They happen all the time. Just because Jeffrey is a celebrity doesn't change the basic argument. We will deal with the dispute in the appropriate court."

Tobia also says he obtained a judgment in civil court for $8,000 after Ja Rule failed to come to court, however Neary claims the amount remains in dispute.

In related news, Ja Rule is also currently facing felony gun charges after police pulled him over last month and discovered a loaded semiautomatic gun in the vehicle. If convicted he could face up to three and a half years behind bars.

Ja Rule's new CD The Mirror hits stores on September 25.

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