2 charged in assault of 7-Eleven clerk claim they were ‘short-changed,’ police say
BRICK TOWNSHIP — Two convenience store clerks were assaulted by a township man after he and a companion became involved in a dispute, claiming they had been short-changed.
Gianna Bozza, 18, of Jackson and Shamil Hawkins, 22 of Brick were taken into custody Sunday on charges including aggravated assault, endangering an injured victim and criminal mischief in connection with an incident Saturday at the 7-Eleven store on Burnt Tavern Road.
According to police, officers responded to the store at about 11:40 a.m. Saturday in response to a report of an assault to one of the store clerks. When police arrived they found one of the clerks with a severe laceration to his head.
The clerk told police that just before 11 a.m., a male and female entered the store, purchased several items and then left. At about 11:30 a.m., the suspects returned and accused the clerk of short-changing them $20 during their earlier transaction.
Police say the woman, later identified as Bozza, began picking up items on the counter and throwing them at the clerk. Hawkins then allegedly walked around to the other side of the counter and "assaulted the clerk/victim by striking him with a closed fist which knocked him to the ground," police said in a statement.
"The clerk struck his head on the corner of a floor safe causing a severe head injury," police said.
A second store clerk then walked over to help the other employee and was also assaulted by both Hawkins and Bozza. The couple then left the store, knocking over several items before leaving the scene in a white SUV.
Police say another customer in the store was able to write down the license plate number. Using that information, police identified the female subject and through an investigation, they were able to identify Hawkins as the second suspect. The vehicle was later stopped and impounded by Point Pleasant police for having an expired registration.
According to police, Bozza and Hawkins responded to Brick police Headquarters on Sunday and were taken into custody. Bail was set at $50,000 with no 10 percent option.
Toniann Antonelli is a social content producer for NJ 101.5. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org, or on Twitter @ToniRadio1015.
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