Suspects Who Fired On Police Indicted in Bank Robbery
Thursday, May 26, 2011 • 4:20pm
NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ – Three bank robbery suspects apprehended following a police chase that ended with shots fired at police were indicted on Wednesday, May 25.
The trio suspected in the robbery on Mar. 12, 2009 of the Bank of America branch on Route 27 at Veronica Avenue in Franklin Township, Somerset County, were charged in a 24-count indictment with attempted murder of three New Brunswick police officers, armed robbery, conspiracy, theft, eluding police, the theft of two getaway vehicles, receiving stolen property and weapons offenses.
Authorities allege the men were carrying five guns, including semi-automatic weapons and a sawed-off shotgun, during the robbery.
In addition, the grand jury handed up three separate indictments charging each with five counts of being certain persons not to have weapons; each had previous felony convictions that prohibited them from possessing weapons.
The three defendants were identified as Anthony Peterson, 46, and James Holmes, 56, both of Newark, and James King, also known as Abdullah Muhammad, 55, of East Orange, Middlesex County Prosecutor Bruce J. Kaplan said.
A fourth suspect, James Phillips Jr., 61, died April 4, 2009, from two gunshot wounds. Holmes and King also sustained gunshot wounds, but have since recovered.
Police from New Brunswick and North Brunswick joined a pursuit for the suspects as they fled Franklin Township and headed into New Brunswick, authorities said.
New Brunswick officers followed the suspects’ vehicle onto Delafield Street, which ends at the rear of Saint Peter’s University Hospital, where their 1996 green Ford Windstar crashed into a security gate, police said. As the four got out of the van, one or more began firing at police officers, who returned gunfire.
The grand jury charged that the men fired upon Michael Coppola, Adam Ramirez, and Steven Dunkel, all New Brunswick police officers, none of whom were injured.
The suspects ran to nearby Guilden Street, where they were apprehended, authorities said. The injured defendants were taken to Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital in New Brunswick.
The Middlesex County grand jury handed up charges after federal charges filed in federal District Court were resolved on May 24.