On appeal from the Superior Court of New Jersey, Chancery Division, Family Part, Camden County, FJ-04-1308-07A.
NOT FOR PUBLICATION WITHOUT THE APPROVAL OF THE APPELLATE DIVISION
Before Judges Cuff and Fuentes.
B.S., a juvenile, appeals from an adjudication of delinquency entered on January 31, 2007, following a bench trial for acts that, if committed by an adult, would constitute second degree robbery in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:15-1a. The judge imposed a two-year probationary term.
On September 28, 2006, around 9:25 a.m., Camden Police Officer A. Hoskins was on patrol near Whitman Park when she was flagged down at the intersection of Pershing and Chase Streets by an older man. The officer noticed the man was out of breath and his face was swollen. The man related that he had a pacemaker and was in pain. He told Officer Hoskins he had been assaulted and robbed at the corner of Carl Miller Boulevard and Pershing Street. The man explained that he was riding his bicycle when he heard footsteps running up behind him. He was then struck from behind and fell from his bicycle. His assailants took two dollars. The man remembered two tall, young males watching him as he counted his money, and described one as wearing a gray sweater and tan pants and the other wearing a green sweatshirt and blue jeans.
Officer Hoskins placed the victim into her patrol car, alerted other officers of the robbery, and relayed a description of the suspects. Hoskins and other officers began circulating the area. After approximately three minutes, Hoskins returned the victim to the site of the robbery to retrieve his bicycle.
Another Camden police officer, Officer Komoncho, heard the alert and description of the suspects while on patrol in the area. He and another officer observed two young males fitting the description given on the 1300 block of Decatur Street, approximately two blocks from the corner of Carl Miller Boulevard and Pershing Street. Komoncho attempted to detain the suspects but they fled on foot. After a pursuit, only one of the suspects, D.J., a juvenile, was successfully detained. Komoncho brought D.J. to the victim, who identified D.J. as one of his assailants. D.J. later pled guilty and implicated B.S. as his partner.
At trial, Officers Hoskins and Komoncho and D.J. testified for the State. The State did not produce the victim. Hoskins was permitted to testify as to the statements conveyed to her by the victim. D.J. testified that he and B.S. "had hit this dude for no reason on a bike." D.J. reported that B.S. swung at the victim, and the victim fell to the ground.
B.S. testified on his own behalf and denied involvement in the robbery. He explained that he was on Decatur Street that day because he was denied admittance to school after arriving late. B.S. walked home and found the door locked and no one there. He turned around to go back to school. On the way, he encountered D.J.'s girlfriend, her mother, and later, D.J. B.S. talked to D.J. and his girlfriend for a short while, and then police officers pulled up and asked B.S. and D.J. why they were out of school. B.S. explained that he was denied admittance because he was late. When a police officer told B.S. he would take him to school, B.S. ran because he was afraid of getting into trouble at his after-school program. When asked by the court why D.J. would implicate B.S. in the robbery if he did not participate, B.S. replied that D.J. implicated him because "some people don't like going down by their self," and D.J. was likely afraid to implicate the real perpetrator for fear of reprisal.
On appeal, B.S. raises the following issues for our ...