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Brick, Jackson Residents Charged in Brutal Assault on 7-Eleven Clerk in Brick

Police vehicles next to the 7-Eleven in Brick, Oct. 15, 2016. (Photo: Daniel Nee)

Police vehicles next to the 7-Eleven in Brick, Oct. 15, 2016. (Photo: Daniel Nee)

An 18-year-old Jackson woman and a 22-year-old resident of Creek Road in Brick have been arrested and charged in an attack on an employee of the 7-Eleven store at the corner of Burnt Tavern and Burrsville roads in Brick on Saturday.

At approximately 11:40 a.m., Brick officers were called to the store to investigate a report of an assault to one of the store clerks.

Officers arrived to find a store employee with a “severe laceration to his head,” according to Sgt. Neal Pedersen.

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The victim told police that a male and female entered the store shortly after 11 a.m., purchased several items, and then left.  Both suspects then re-entered the store at approximately 11:30 a.m. and accused the clerk of short-changing them $20 during the their earlier transaction.

An argument ensued, at which time the female, identified as Gianna Bozza, 18, of Jackson, began throwing items located on the counter at the clerk, said Pedersen. As Bozza allegedly continued to argue with the clerk, the male, identified as Shamel Hawkins, proceeded around the counter and assaulted the clerk by striking him with a closed fist which knocked him to the ground.  After the blow, the clerk struck his head on the corner of a floor safe which caused a “severe head injury,” according to police

A second clerk who came to the first clerk’s aid was also assaulted by both the male and female suspects, said Pedersen.  Both then began knocking items to the floor as they exited the store, according to a police report. They then got into a white SUV and fled the area.

A store patron was able to obtain the license plate of the suspect vehicle, and based on this information, officers were able to obtain the identity of the female suspect as Bozza, described as a white female from Pointe Circle in Jackson.  Shortly thereafter, the vehicle was stopped by the Point Pleasant Police Department and impounded for an expired registration.

Detective Brian Ulman responded to the 7-11 to begin the investigation, said Pedersen. With the assistance of the Point Pleasant Police Department, Ulman was able to identify the male as Hawkins, described as a black male from Creek Road, adjacent to the troubled Maple Leaf Park complex.

Warrants were issued for both individuals’ arrests for aggravated assault, endangering an injured victim, and criminal mischief.  Bail for each suspect was set at $50,000 cash.  On Sunday, both suspects went to Brick Police Headquarters and were taken into custody.

Ulman was assisted by Ptl. Richard Nelson, Pedersen said. No photos of either suspect were available.