MAPLEWOOD, NJ - Captain Dawn Williams of the Maplewood Police Department has issued a statement regarding an attempted robbery of a Maplewood Middle School student on Fri., Dec. 18.
According to Captain Williams, at approximately 8:55 a.m. on Fri., Dec. 18, "the Maplewood Police Department received a call from the Maplewood Middle School reporting a possible attempted robbery involving a student."
The victim is an 8th grade student, age 13. The student reported that "he was approached by a male in the area of Valley Street and the Crescents who asked him for money and to borrow his cell phone."
The victim refused, and then "the actor threatened to injure him." The victim fled to Maplewood Middle School where he reported the incident.
Maplewood police report that no weapon was used in the incident and the victim was not injured.
Based on the description of the actor given by the victim, Maplewood police officers James DeFazio and Sean Gearren "subsequently observed a subject matching the actor's description on Prospect Street." The officers stopped the individual and he was positively identified as the actor and arrested.
The actor is identified as Christopher Zapata, age 18, from Belleville, NJ. Zapata was arrested and charged with Attempted Robbery. Zapata was also found to be in possession of several bags of marijuana and charged with Possession of CDS (controlled dangerous substance) and Possession of CDS with the intent to distribute. Zapata was transported to the Essex County Correctional Facility
The South Orange Maplewood School District issued a statement to the Maplewood Middle School community, which can be read here.