Two Suspects Arrested Following Armed Robbery PDF Print E-mail

Newark – Two suspects, wanted in connection with an armed robbery that occurred in Hillside this morning, were arrested shortly before noon by Essex County sheriff’s officers.

Sheriff Armando Fontoura stated that Officer David Cohen was on traffic detail today at University Avenue and William Street when he received a police broadcast issued by Hillside police for a stolen, red, 1998 Pontiac Bonneville with two occupants who were wanted for an armed robbery earlier on Monday.

Within moments of the broadcast, the suspect vehicle stopped for a traffic light at Cohen’s intersection.

Sheriff Fontoura said that Officer Cohen approached the Bonneville and ordered the driver, Zahir Howard, age 40, of Newark, to turn the ignition off and step out of the vehicle. Howard ignored Cohen’s commands, put the car in reverse and gunned the engine.

As the car fled away in reverse, Cohen leaped into the driver’s window and attempted to stop the car. With the suspect vehicle now dragging the officer, it crashed into another car stopped for the traffic light. When the fleeing vehicle hit Cohen’s marked unit the officer was thrown to the ground.

Officer Cohen pursued the Bonneville and eventually cut it off near the intersection of South 11th Street and South Orange Avenue where Howard exited the stolen car and ran from the scene.

While back-up officers arrested Howard’s passenger, Rosalyn Armstrong, age 35, of Newark, Cohen chased the driver and tackled him to the ground.

A search of the suspects revealed that Howard was in possession of one vial of cocaine and Armstrong was in possession of a “crack” pipe.

Howard was charged with two counts of aggravated assault and one count each of receiving stolen property, eluding apprehension, resisting arrest, possession of a controlled dangerous substance, possession of a weapon (the vehicle) and the unlawful possession of a weapon (the vehicle).

Armstrong was charged with receiving stolen property and possession of drug paraphernalia.

Howard was also found to be the subject of an open criminal warrant issued by the Newark municipal court for possession of CDS.

Both suspects were lodged at the Essex County Correctional Facility where they await arraignment on today’s charges and an interview with Hillside police.