An ex-con told a federal judge in Newark on Wednesday that he assaulted a postal carrier with a box cutter while carjacking her SUV.
The U.S. Postal Service carrier was taking a break behind the wheel of Dodge Durango on June 6 when Wallace Johnson, 32, of Newark, walked up and held the knife to her throat, cutting her skin, in the 80s block of Cedar Avenue, Acting U.S. Attorney Rachael A. Honig said.
Johnson “demanded that the postal employee get out of the car and leave everything inside,” Honig said. “After the postal employee got out of the car, Johnson got [in] and drove away.”
City police patrolling the area began following the recklessly-driven Durango, unaware of the carjacking, when Johnson suddenly hit the gas sped off, the U.S. attorney said.
Johnson crashed on Sanford Avenue, then bailed out and fled on foot, she said.
Police found him hiding behind a parked car in a nearby neighborhood, Honig said.
Inside the SUV, they found the postal workers cellphone and the box cutter, she said.
Rather than go to trial, Johnson pleaded guilty Wednesday to carjacking and assaulting a federal employee before U.S. District Judge John Michael Vazquez in Newark.
Vazquez scheduled sentencing for May 18.
Honig credited Newark police and U.S. Postal Inspection Service in inspectors for the investigation leading to the guilty plea, secured by Assistant U.S. Attorney Benjamin Levin of her Violent Crimes Unit in Newark.
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