FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 30, 2014
NEWARK, N.J. – An Essex County, N.J., man made his initial court appearance today on charges of bank robbery in connection with an attempt to rob a bank in Irvington, N.J., U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman announced.
Karim Brunson, 24, of Newark, was charged by complaint with one count of bank robbery and one count of possession of a firearm during the commission of a crime of violence. He made his initial court appearance today before U.S. Magistrate Judge Joseph A. Dickson in Newark federal court.
According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court:
Brunson allegedly entered the front door of the Investors Savings Bank in Irvington at 11:30 a.m. on June 28, 2014, with a dark-colored mask over his face. Brunson pulled out a loaded .357-caliber revolver handgun from his waistband and pointed it into the lobby. An off-duty Irvington Police lieutenant was in uniform and working inside the bank as a security guard. As Brunson entered the lobby, he pointed the handgun at the officer’s head and threw a plastic shopping bag toward one of the bank tellers. Brunson then yelled for the teller to “Put the money in the bag.”
When Brunson looked away momentarily, the off-duty police officer grabbed Brunson’s hand and the gun and fought with Brunson on the floor of the bank lobby. Another bank employee and a second off-duty police officer arrived to help the Irvington Police lieutenant subdue Brunson.
The bank robbery charge carries a maximum potential penalty of 20 years in prison. The weapons charge carries a mandatory seven years in prison to be served consecutively to his sentence on the bank robbery.
U.S. Attorney Fishman credited special agents of the FBI, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Aaron T. Ford, and officers of the Irvington Police Department, under the direction of Police Director Joseph Santiago, with the ongoing investigation that led to the charges.
The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney James Donnelly of the Criminal Division in Newark.
The charges and allegations contained in the complaint are merely accusations and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.
Defense counsel: Linda Foster Esq., Assistant Federal Public Defender, Newark