Man pleads guilty to assaulting NJ postal worker in robbery attempt

CAMDEN, N.J. – Lord T. Beyah pleaded guilty today to assaulting a postal employee during the robbery of a post office in Mizpah, N.J., on July 14, 2010, U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman announced.

Beyah, 48, a/k/a “Chance Burgess,” pleaded guilty to an Information, which charged him with assaulting a postal employee with intent to rob a United States post office, before U.S. District Judge Robert B. Kugler in Camden federal court.

According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court:

In the early afternoon of July 14, 2010, a man later identified as Beyah entered the post office, leaped over the counter, displayed a knife, and demanded that a postal employee – the sole employee working at the post office at the time – give him money. After the postal employee gave him all the money in her cash drawer, Beyah demanded that she open the post office’s safe. The postal employee opened the safe, then attempted to flee by running out the rear door.

Beyah ran after and caught the employee, forcibly dragging her back into the post office and threatening her with a knife. After a struggle, the employee was able to pull the knife blade out of the knife and use it to stab Beyah two times in his lower left leg. Beyah then handcuffed the employee to a piece of postal equipment and fled the post office. Ultimately, the employee was able to free herself and call 911.

The charge to which Beyah pleaded guilty carries a maximum potential penalty of 25 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. Sentencing is currently scheduled for September 21, 2011.

U.S. Attorney Fishman credited postal inspectors of the United States Postal Inspection Service, under the direction of Postal Inspector in Charge Karen V. Higgins in Philadelphia; along with the New Jersey State Police, under the direction of Colonel Rick Fuentes, Superintendent; and the Township of Hamilton Police Department, under the direction of Chief Stacy V. Tappeiner, for the work leading to the identification and apprehension of the defendant.

The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Matthew T. Smith of the U.S. Attorney’s Office Criminal Division in Camden.