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Newark Barbershop Robber Shot In Face By Off-Duty Officer Headed To Fed Pen

Philip Hedgespeth
Philip Hedgespeth Photo Credit: Essex County Correctional Facility

Philip Hedgespeth picked the wrong barbershop to rob when the man in the chair turned out to be an off-duty Newark police officer who shot him in the face.

Now the ex-con is headed back behind bars -- only this time it's for a federal stretch of more than nine years.

Hedgespeth, 45, must serve out the entire plea-bargained sentence: Unlike in the state prison system, federal convicts don’t get parole.

Hedgespeth was wearing a hoodie when he walked into the Cache Barbershop on Orange Street, pointed a handgun and demanded cash from an employee and off-duty city officer getting a haircut on May 1, 2018.

Surveillance video (below) shows the would-be victims tackling Hedgespeth, whose gun reportedly jammed when he tried to fire it.

He struggled with the barber and off-duty officer, who fired two shots in the melee.

Hedgespeth fled in a waiting Dodge Challenger.

Newark police pursued the vehicle before it became disabled on McCarter Highway.

They quickly caught the driver and Hedgespeth when both tried to run.

After initially charging him with robbery and weapons offenses, Essex County prosecutors turned Hedgepeth over to federal authorities.

He took a deal from the government rather than face trial -- pleading guilty to Hobbs Act robbery, using a gun during a violent crime and being a convicted felon in possession of a firearm.

In addition to the prison term, U.S. District Judge Robert B. Kugler sentenced Hedgespeth in Camden on Thursday to five years of supervised release.

Honig credited Newark police and special agents of the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives with making the case that led to the plea and sentence, secured by Assistant U.S. Attorney Naazneen Khan of her Organized Crimes and Gangs Unit in Newark.

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