For Immediate Release
Two Men Charged With Shooting Taxi Driver During Robbery
NEWARK, N.J. – Two men have made their initial appearances on charges of shooting a taxi driver during a late-night robbery, U.S. Attorney Philip R. Sellinger announced today.
Naeem Jackson, 22, of East Orange, New Jersey, and Walter Williams-Lang, 20, of Elizabeth, New Jersey, are each charged in a four-count complaint with Hobbs Act violence in furtherance of a planned robbery; discharging a firearm during a crime of violence; conspiracy to use a firearm during a crime of violence; and possessing a firearm as convicted felons. Jackson had his initial appearance by videoconference today before U.S. Magistrate Judge José R. Almonte; Williams-Lang appeared on June 30, 2022, before U.S. Magistrate Judge Cathy L. Waldor. Both were detained without bail.
According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court:
On May 14, 2022, at 4:37 a.m., Jackson and Williams-Lang, wearing dark clothing and masks over their faces, entered a taxi. Williams-Lang pointed a firearm at the taxi driver while demanding his money. Jackson then took the firearm from Williams-Lang and pistol-whipped the taxi driver’s head several times before shooting him in the arm. After leaving the driver in critical condition from a gunshot wound, Jackson and Williams-Lang fled the scene and were arrested.
The counts of Hobbs Act violence and conspiracy to use a firearm during a crime of violence are punishable by 20 years in prison; the count of being convicted felons in possession of a firearm is punishable by 10 years in prison; and the count for discharging a firearm during a crime of violence is punishable by a consecutive sentence of 10 years to life in prison.
U.S. Attorney Sellinger credited the members of the Elizabeth Police Department, under the direction of Director Earl J. Graves and Police Chief Giacommo Sacca; and special agents of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Jeffrey L. Matthews, Newark Field Division, with the investigation leading to the charges.
The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Barry O’Connell of the General Crimes Unit in Newark.
The charges and allegations contained in the complaint are merely accusations, and the defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.