Newark police tell Eyewitness News anchor Phil Lipof that they have arrested the man suspected of robbing former Mayor Sharpe James, 77, who was choked in the attack Thursday afternoon.
The incident occurred shortly after 4 p.m. on Bergen Street, near Newark’s Weequahic Park.
Police say the robber attacked the 77-year-old James from behind, placing him in a choke hold and stealing his gold chain.
James served five four-year terms as Newark’s mayor. In 2008, he was convicted of fraud and was sentenced to two years in prison.
Area residents expressed surprise by the brazen attack.
“Got the ex-mayor out here, minding his business and these, whoever they are, thugs, it is totally unnecessary,” one man said.
Many speculated that the suspect did not know who he mugging.
“I guess the guy thought he was an average guy and did what he did, that’s all,” a resident said.
Police reviewed video tape collected from this store, which the man behind the counter would not show Eyewitness News for fear of retaliation.
James was Newark’s 35th mayor, and also served as a state senator.
He was not injured in the attack.
Source: ABC News