A violent 70-minute November crime spree has a man and woman facing federal conspiracy and gun charges that could result in lengthy prison sentences.
Rodney Williams, 29, of Jersey City and Siobhan Chandler, 19, of Newark, appeared yesterday before U.S. Magistrate Judge James B. Clark III. Both were detained.
They are each charged in a criminal complaint with conspiring to rob, and robbing, four businesses and shooting two individuals in Jersey City. Williams is additionally charged with possession of a firearm and ammunition as a convicted felon.
The U.S. Attorney’s allegations read like a scene from the movie Bonnie and Clyde, albeit without the glamor of Faye Dunaway and Warren Beatty.
The action started at approximately 8:10 p.m. on the evening of November 14 when Williams entered a deli on Danforth Avenue. Williams allegedly placed a gun to the clear’s chest, threatened to kill him and demanded all of the store’s money. The clerk complied and Williams fled on foot.
Thirty-five minutes later, Williams and Chandler arrived at a Valero gas station on Garfield Avenue. Chandler tried and failed to enter the attendant’s booth. Williams then pointed his gun at an attendant and demanded money. When the attendant refused, Williams shot him in the chest and said, “do you think I am f—king playing with you? Give me the money!” Williams then pointed the gun at the other attendant and threatened to shoot. The attendant escaped to the attendant’s booth and locked the door. While Chandler waited near the gas station’s entrance, Williams pursued him and tried to force his way inside. Unable to get in, Williams ran toward Chandler and they fled.
Fifteen minutes later, Williams and Chandler entered Rodriguez Brother’s Supermarket on Communipaw Avenue. Williams pointed the gun at the clerk and demanded the store’s money. The clerk complied and the Williams and Chandler left.
Ten minutes later, Williams and Chandler entered Crown Chicken across the street. Williams pointed his gun at the clerk’s chest and demanded money. Apparently, the clerk didn’t believe that Williams was serious. In response, Williams attempted to shoot him but the firearm misfired. Williams then re-cocked the gun and shot the clerk in the chest. Williams then forced his way into the restaurant’s kitchen and demanded money from the employees. Meanwhile, Chandler remained at the doorway and ordered one employee out of the restaurant and barred a patron from entering. As Williams forced the wounded clerk to empty cash from the register, Chandler yelled, “Let’s go! Let’s go!”
At around 9:20 p.m., Jersey City police officers noticed Williams and Chandler in their car outside Crown Chicken. Apparently panicked, Williams drove his car into oncoming traffic, striking a police vehicle and rendering his own car inoperable. Williams and Chandler were immediately arrested.
Today, a worker at Crown Chicken told The Jersey City Times that the employee shot by Williams was doing well. Across the street at Rodriguez Brother’s Supermarket, a cashier said that the money stolen had not been returned. “You don’t get it back,” he opined.
The pair are subject to a maximum potential penalty of 20 years in prison and a fine of $250,000 for each charge of robbery; a maximum penalty for 20 years in prison and a fine of $250,000 for conspiring to use and carry a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence; and a maximum potential penalty of life in prison and a fine of $250,000 for each charge of possessing, carrying or using a firearm during a crime of violence. Williams is subject to a maximum potential penalty of 10 years in prison and a fine of $250,000 for the charge of possession of a firearm and ammunition by a convicted felon.