Elizabeth man sentenced for violent gas station robbery

An Elizabeth man has been sentenced to nine years in state prison for the violent robbery of a city gas station in 2013, acting Union County Prosecutor Grace H. Park announced Monday.

Matthew Potter, 41, must serve at least 85 percent of that term before becoming eligible for parole under the terms set down by state Superior Court Judge Frederic McDaniel.

It was shortly before 11 a.m. on May 12, 2013 when Potter walked to the Delta gas station at Fillmore Street and Routes 1&9 in Elizabeth, according to Union County Assistant Prosecutors Armando Suarez and Travis Carter, who prosecuted the case. Once there, Potter asked the attendant, who he recognized from frequenting the gas station, for a cigarette, Suarez and Carter said.
After the attendant finished serving the lone customer at the gas station, Potter grabbed the attendant from behind, by the neck, and took money from his pocket, after which he threw the attendant to the ground. He then demanded more money, and when the victim told him he did not have any, Potter began punching and kicking him while also banging his head against the floor.

Potter finally put his foot on the attendant’s throat, continued to demand more money, and threatened to kill the attendant if he declined. He ultimately made off with several hundred dollars, after which an investigation involving the Elizabeth Police Department and the Prosecutor’s Office was launched.

Potter was located and arrested less than a month later.