A man in Montgomery, New Jersey will face four years in state prison after chasing down a woman and her family in a robbery involving anti-Asian bias.
What happened: Michael Kibalo, 29, covered his face with a hooded sweatshirt and tried to steal a woman’s phone as he pointed an imitation rifle at her on March 10 in the area of Belle Glades Lane and Sleepy Hollow Lane, reported Patch.
- Kibalo chased the woman and her two children when she refused to give up her phone before catching her and tried to snatch the phone out of her hands.
- The woman fell as her family continued to flee to get help from a nearby contractor who was on the job and heard her screams.
- A neighbor also opened her door for the family as Kibalo was taken into custody.
- Before the man could reach the woman for a second time, a police officer arrived on the scene and ordered Kibalo to drop the imitation rifle multiple times before he complied.
- Kibalo pleaded guilty on Sept. 24 to charges of second-degree robbery and third-degree bias intimidation, which authorities said was motivated by anti-Asian bias.
Not the first time: The Montgomery man also pleaded guilty to assaulting his parents with a shovel.
- The initial incident happened weeks after Kibalo terrorized the woman and her family.
- Filed by the Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office, he also pleaded guilty to two counts of third-degree aggravated assault.
- Kibalo must serve at least 85% of his sentence without the possibility of parole.
- Sentences in both cases will run concurrently.
- “We’re committed to fully investigating and prosecuting bias crimes in New Jersey,” Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal said in a statement via NJ.com. “As members of law enforcement and as a society, we need to push back against intolerance and hatred.”
Feature Image via Getty