NEW BRUNSWICK — A Woodbridge man is facing as much as 50 years in a New Jersey state prison after being convicted of robbing two people and injuring one of them in Perth Amboy, Middlesex County Prosecutor Bruce J. Kaplan announced yesterday.
Anthony Vinas, 23, was found guilty of two counts of armed robbery and one count each of aggravated assault, possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose and unlawful possession of a weapon on April 20.
He faces a prison term of 10 years to 50 years and must serve 85 percent of the penalty before he can be eligible for parole, according to authorities. Sentencing has been set for June 8, before Superior Court Judge Michael A. Toto at the Middlesex County Courthouse in New Brunswick.
During a trial that began on April 9, Middlesex County Assistant Prosecutor Martha McKinney presented testimony and evidence showing that Vinas brandished a knife and robbed two people during separate incidents on Jan. 16, 2009.
In the first incident, Vinas approached a 77-year-old man, who was waiting in the lobby of his apartment building on King Street in Perth Amboy for a ride to work at 5:40 a.m.
Vinas showed the victim the knife and demanded money. When the man gave the defendant $11, Vinas slashed the left side of the man’s face, punched him in the mouth, stabbed him on the left side of his rib cage and knocked him to the floor.
The victim testified that Vinas told him, ‘’This isn’t enough,’’ and tossed the $11 back at the victim.
The victim took his money and went outside, thinking that his ride to work was arriving. At that point, Vinas punched the man, demanded his wallet, took the $11 and fled.
Moments later, Vinas approached a 42-year-old woman at the corner of State and Market streets and demanded cash after brandishing the knife. The woman ran and Vinas followed, poking her with the knife until she stopped and dropped her pocketbook, which contained between $6 and $12.
A witness saw the commotion and called police as Vinas fled, taking cash from the pocketbook. Police apprehended him on Smith Street.
Testimony showed the 77-year-old man was hospitalized as a result of his injuries and is no longer able to work. He also must use a cane to help him walk.
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