Shawn Schwarz had positively identified the man who allegedly robbed him at gunpoint during a . But, while being questioned Tuesday, Schwarz said he was “not 100 percent sure” of his attacker’s identity.
“Honestly, like it’s tough to tell because the beard that he had was a full beard,” Schwarz, 22, said during a preliminary hearing in the courtroom of. “I’m not 100 percent sure. When he was pointing the gun at me I wasn’t looking at him completely.”
“I really thought I was about to die,” Schwarz said.
Prior to Tuesday’s hearing, Schwarz had told Horsham Police Det. Robert Waeltz that his former classmate, Ayodele Oke, 21, of 2529 Horsham Road in Hatboro, had entered the Horsham residence he shares with his parents and siblings on Chestnut Lane on the morning of April 3 and, with one hand around Schwarz’s neck and the other holding a gun pointed at Schwarz’s head, demanded cash.
“He said, ‘Shawn, gimme your money,’” Schwarz said.
The fact that the intruder made Waeltz sure that the victim somehow knew his attacker. Still, Waeltz said Schwarz told him “three or four times” that he didn’t know who entered his home, choked him and robbed him of $185 at gunpoint.
“I asked Shawn to tell me who it was. Shawn didn’t want to. Shawn was scared,” Waeltz said, adding that following a lengthy questioning at the police station, Schwarz provided a name. “He said, ‘the guy’s name is Ayo.’ ”
Since Waeltz said Schwarz didn’t know the suspect’s last name, he said they looked through Hatboro-Horsham yearbooks together and Schwarz identified Oke as the intruder. Oke was arrested the day after the home invasion.
Several days after that, Waeltz said police issued two search warrants and recovered latex gloves and a gray hooded sweatshirt – both matching the description of items Schwarz said the suspect wore during the robbery - inside Oke’s 1996 Pontiac Bonneville. Waeltz said police also found documents showing that Oke had purchased a handgun and had a license to carry a firearm.
Oke is facing numerous charges, including robbery, aggravated assault and recklessly endangering another person stemming from his alleged involvement in the home invasion. On Tuesday, Nesbitt agreed to dismiss charges of terroristic threats and harassment after Oke’s defense attorney, Micheal Parlow, argued that the case should be dismissed.
“He still needs to tell the court ‘this is the guy,’ ” Parlow said.
Assistant District Attorney Jesse King argued that Schwarz’s ability to pick Oke out of a Hatboro-Horsham yearbook and the evidence collected by Horsham police provided enough evidence to hold the charges.
“Mr. Schwarz could be a blind man and not see a thing,” King said. “Criminals do crime when people don’t see it.”
Nesbitt said that while he wants as much information presented as possible, he agreed that the case should move forward.
“Without being able to identify the defendant is an issue, but it’s not a fatal flaw,” Nesbitt said. “Clearly a crime was committed.”
The matter will be heard next month in Montgomery County Court of Common Pleas. Oke remains free on $50,000 bail.