Hakiem K. Wadud, 24, of Asbury Park, pleaded guilty on Friday, May 25, to first degree Armed Robbery and first degree Kidnapping before Monmouth County Superior Court Judge Ellen Torregossa-O'Connor. Under the terms of the plea agreement, Wadud faces a term of 18 years in New Jersey state prison, with 85 percent of the sentence, or approximately 15 years and 4 months, before any possible release on parole pursuant to the "No Early Release Act" (NERA).
On November 13, 2016 at approximately 11 p.m., Neptune Township police responded to a call 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 Monmouth County Prosecutor's Office, Neptune Township Police Department, and Asbury Park Police Department revealed that 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 occupants. 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 early the next day around 4 a.m., when Wadud returned to the convenience store. A Bradley Beach police officer, who happened to be shopping there at that time, approached Wadud and detained him until Asbury Park and Neptune Township police officers arrived on scene to take him into custody.
Wadud is scheduled to return before Judge Torregossa-O'Connor for sentencing on July 20, 2018. He remains in custody at the Monmouth County Correctional Institution.
The case is assigned to Assistant Prosecutor Martha Nye.
Wadud is represented by Robert Konzelmann, Esq., of Howell Township.