Defendant in Hillside robbery pleads guilty

An Essex County man has admitted to being responsible for an armed robbery at a Hillside restaurant last year, acting Union County Prosecutor Grace H. Park announced Tuesday.

Sean Hill, 42, of Irvington pleaded guilty Tuesday to two counts of first-degree robbery and two related weapons offenses.
The date was April 11, 2014 when Hill entered the Wah Yuen restaurant on Hillside Avenue and approached a customer at the front counter, according to Union County Assistant Prosecutor Alexander Rasi, who is prosecuting the case. The customer had placed her wallet on the restaurant counter while waiting for her food, and Hill grabbed it and started searching through it, Rasi said.

Finding a small amount of cash, Hill demanded more money from the customer. When she said she had none, Hill then brandished a knife and ordered the restaurant owner to hand over cash from the register, threatening to harm the customer if he refused.

Hill subsequently fled the restaurant, and arriving Hillside Police Department patrol units located and arrested him a short distance away, also recovering a knife and the victim’s personal belongings.

Sentencing in the case has been scheduled for May 8 before state Superior Court Judge Stuart Peim. First-degree crimes typically result in penalties of up to 20 year s in state prison.