FREEHOLD – An Asbury Park man is facing charges of armed robbery, kidnapping and weapons offense after he was identified when he returned to the scene of the crimes just hours later, announced Monmouth County Prosecutor Christopher J. Gramiccioni.
Hakiem K. Wadud, 24, of Asbury Park, is charged with two counts of first degree Armed Robbery, two counts of first degree Kidnapping, one count of second degree Possession of a Weapon for an Unlawful Purpose, one count of second degree Unlawful Possession of a Weapon, and one count of second degree Certain Persons not to have a Weapon. Wadud is being held in the Monmouth County Correctional Institution in Freehold Township on $750,000 bail with no option to post ten percent, as set by Monmouth County Superior Court Judge Honora O’Brien Kilgallen. Judge Kilgallen also ordered Wadud to have no victim contact and barred him from returning to the scenes of his crimes if he should be released on bail.
Neptune Township Police responded to a call around 11 p.m. on November 13, 2016, reporting a man with a gun at the Wawa convenience store located at Routes 35 and 33 in the township.
A joint investigation by the Neptune Township and Asbury Park Police Departments and the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office revealed the robbery culminated at the Wawa but began in Asbury Park, when Wadud entered a car belonging to the victims.
Shortly after entering the vehicle, Wadud, brandishing a firearm, demanded money from both individuals. After taking the money, he directed the driver to take him to the Wawa in Neptune Township so one of the victims could access his bank account for additional money. Once at Wawa, the suspect accompanied one of the victims into the store and fled shortly thereafter.
Police were again called to the Wawa in Neptune Township around 4 a.m., after a store employee told a Bradley Beach Police Officer, who happened to be shopping in the convenience store, the suspect was present in the store. The Bradley Beach Police Officer approached Wadud and detained him until Asbury and Neptune officers arrived to take him into custody.
If convicted of Armed Robbery, Wadud faces a sentence on each count of up to 30 years in a New Jersey state prison without parole and a maximum sentence of life imprisonment, subject to the provisions of the “No Early Release Act” (NERA) requiring him to serve 85 percent of the sentence imposed before becoming eligible for release on parole. He would also be under parole supervision for five years following his release from state prison.
If convicted of Kidnapping, he faces a sentence of up to 20 years in a state prison.
If convicted of Possession of Weapon for an Unlawful Purpose, Wadud faces a sentence of five to ten years in prison.
If convicted of Unlawful Possession of a Handgun, Wadud faces five to ten years in state prison with a period of up to three years that must be served prior to becoming eligible for parole.
If convicted of Certain Persons Not to Possess a Firearm, he faces up to 18 months in state prison.
The case is assigned to Monmouth County Assistant Prosecutor Meghan Doyle.
Despite these charges, every defendant is presumed innocent, unless and until found guilty beyond a reasonable doubt, following a trial at which the defendant has all of the trial rights guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution and State law.
# # #