Former Newark Mayor Sharpe James wants to help his attacker

Former Newark Mayor Sharpe James says he doesn't want to press charges against the man accused of attacking him from behind on Bergen Street and

Sharpe James insists he has already forgiven Williams and adds that he'd like mentor the homeless man.

Sharpe James insists he has already forgiven Williams and adds that he'd like mentor the homeless man. (4/12/13)

NEWARK - Former Newark Mayor Sharpe James says he doesn't want to press charges against the man accused of attacking him from behind on Bergen Street and stealing a gold chain from his neck.

Police say they arrested 20-year-old Alhaseez Williams early Friday morning at a PATH station after the alleged mugging. Williams has several felony convictions and nearly half a dozen prior arrests on his record.

James says he's doing fine and is thankful to the Newark Police Department for tracking down the suspect so quickly. However, he insists he has already forgiven Williams and adds that he'd like mentor the homeless man.

Sharpe James was Newark's mayor from 1986 through 2006 and was later convicted in a federal corruption trial that resulted in a prison sentence of more than two years.

The stolen chain had a gold cross on it that had sentimental value to the former mayor. He says he started wearing it after he was released from prison. "I would have given it to him," James says. "If he'd asked, I would have given it to him."
 

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