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Press Release

Newark Man Charged with Armed Robbery

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of New Jersey

NEWARK, N.J. – A Newark man appeared in federal court today on charges that he allegedly attempted to rob a city barbershop in May 2018, U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito announced.

Philip K. Hedgespeth, 43, is charged by complaint with one count of Hobbs Act robbery, one count of brandishing a firearm during a crime of violence, and one count of possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. Hedgespeth made his initial appearance today before U.S. Magistrate Judge Joseph A. Dickson in Newark federal court and was detained without bail.

According to the complaint:

On the evening of May 1, 2018, Hedgespeth entered a barbershop in Newark and attempted to rob it, brandishing a firearm at an employee. He tried to shoot the gun in the employee’s direction, but the weapon malfunctioned. The employee and an off-duty Newark police officer then attempted disarm Hedgespeth, but Hedgespeth was able to exit the barbershop. While standing in front of the barbershop, Hedgespeth pointed his weapon at the officer, who shot Hedgespeth in the face. Hedgespeth fled the scene in a Dodge Challenger. He was apprehended by Newark police officers after exiting the vehicle and leading them on a brief chase on foot. At the time of his arrest, Hedgespeth was in possession of a handgun. Video surveillance recorded Hedgespeth entering the barbershop and attempting to conduct the robbery.

The count of Hobbs Act robbery carries a maximum potential sentence of 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine, or twice the gain or loss from the offense. The count of brandishing a firearm during a crime of violence carries a mandatory minimum sentence of seven years in prison, which must be imposed consecutive to any other sentence imposed. 

The charges and allegations in the complaint are merely accusations, and the defendant is considered innocent unless and until proven guilty.

U.S. Attorney Carpenito credited special agents of the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge John B. Devito, Newark Field Division; the Newark Police Department, under the direction of Public Safety Director Anthony Ambrose; and the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office, under the direction of Acting Prosecutor Theodore N. Stephens II, with the investigation leading to today’s charges. 

The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Jamel Semper of the U.S. Attorney’s Office Violent Crimes Unit in Newark.

Updated September 26, 2018

Violent Crime
Press Release Number: 18-327