Newark, NJ – A Union man has been convicted of robbing a carpenter in the parking lot of a Springfield Avenue restaurant in Irvington during the predawn hours of Easter Sunday, 2017, according to Acting Essex County Prosecutor Robert D. Laurino.

An Essex County jury convicted Tariq Thompson, 39, of robbing the man following a trial before the Honorable Siobhan Teare, Judge of the Superior Court.  Thompson, who has three prior felony convictions, faces up to 20 years in New Jersey State Prison when he is sentenced on June 11 by Judge Teare. He is eligible for an extended sentence because he was previously convicted of aggravated assault, possession of narcotics and eluding police.

“The victim and his family started out their day expecting to enjoy a pleasant family outing,” said Assistant Prosecutor Jason Goldberg, who handled the case.  “Instead they had to fight off a robbery. With his conviction yesterday, hopefully, no other family will face a similar encounter this defendant.’’

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The robbery occurred shortly after midnight on April 16, 2017.  The victim, a resident of Edison, had come back to the Ironbound section of Newark to play amateur soccer and visit with friends on April 15.  Around midnight, as they were heading home, they decided to stop and pick up some ceviche, a seafood dish, at a favorite restaurant in Irvington.

The victim left his wife and two very young children in the car and went into the restaurant to pick up the food. As he was leaving the restaurant, Thompson pulled a gun on him and demanded his wallet.

After giving Thompson his wallet, the victim called police and followed the suspect in his car. The suspect was eventually found hiding on a roof two blocks away after running from police. Police found the gun, the victim’s wallet, the baseball jacket and ski mask worn by the defendant.