SOMERVILLE, N.J. – A 26-year-old Bridgewater man has been charged with the armed robbery of the Banner Food Store at 130 E. Main St.

Karriem Earp, of Route 28 in Bridgewater faces multiple charges and is being held in lieu of $100,000 bail at the Somerset County Jail, according to Acting Somerset County Prosecutor Michael H. Robertson.

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Roberson gave the following account of the Thursday, Dec. 15 incident:

Somerville Police responded to a 911 call from the store manager at 12:41 p.m. The store employee told police he had been robbed and provided a description of the suspect. The description was broadcast to other police units.

Shortly thereafter a Somerville police officer spotted a man fitting the description near Hamilton and Second Streets. The individual, later identified as Earp, failed to comply with verbal commands from the officer and began to walk away. Two police officers subdued Earp after he tried to run away and a brief struggle ensued.

During the struggle Earp attempted to remove a “Ekol Botan” 9mm semi-automatic blank firing handgun from his waist area, according to Robertson.  The officers removed the weapon and placed Earp under arrest.  A search yielded the proceeds from the convenience store robbery along with 100 glassine wax folds of suspected heroin, according to Robertson

Earp has been charged with 1st Degree Robbery, 4th Degree Possession of an Imitation Handgun for an Unlawful Purpose, 3rd Degree Hindering Apprehension, 3rd Degree Resisting Arrest, and 3rd Degree Possession of CDS (Heroin) with the Intent to Distribute.