February 15, 2018 - On Wednesday February 14, 2018 at
approximately 1:50 a.m. the Newark Police responded to the area of 46 East Main
Street in order to check for a possible assault that had just occurred in the
area. Officers were not able to locate anyone in the area at that time. NPD was
able to review street level cameras and observed what appeared to be an assault
and robbery at that location.
At approximately 1:53 a.m. another NPD officer,
unrelated to this incident, conducted a traffic stop of a Jeep Cherokee which
was driving down East Main Street at a high rate of speed with no headlights
on. The driver, 23-year-old Michael Hunter of Newark, was arrested for DUI, Driving
Without Headlights, Driving While Suspended, No Proof of Insurance and Open
Container in a Vehicle. There were also two other passengers in the vehicle.
They were identified as 23-year-old Matthew Peterson of Middletown and
25-year-old Zachery Hedinger of Bear. The Jeep Cherokee was towed from the
While continuing to conduct the initial investigation,
the possible victim’s identification was located in the area of the assault and
robbery. Sometime later officers located the victim, a 21-year-old male
UD student, in his dorm room with blood coming from his forehead. An ambulance
was called and he was transported to Christiana Hospital for the head injury.
Detectives began to investigate the case and upon a detailed
review of the surveillance videos in the area, the victim is seen walking out of
the 7-11 on East Main Street. He briefly speaks with the three suspects. As the
victim walks away, one of the suspects runs up behind the victim and punches
him on the side of the head, causing him to immediately fall to the ground
unconscious. As the victim was on the ground, the three suspects rummaged
through his pockets and appeared to steal some items. The suspects then fled to
a parking lot and left the area in a Jeep Cherokee, the same vehicle stopped
for the earlier described DUI investigation.
Michael Hunter and Zachery Hedinger were arrested on
2/14/18 when they came into Newark Police Headquarters in order to claim the
towed vehicle. Hunter was charged with Robbery 1st Degree,
Conspiracy 2nd Degree and Wearing a Disguise During the Commission
of a Felony. He was transported to Howard Young Correctional Institute after
failing to post $57,000 secured bail. Hedinger was charged with Robbery 1st
Degree and Conspiracy 2nd Degree. He was also transported to Howard
Young Correctional Institute after failing to post $50,000 secured bail.
Warrants have been obtained for the third suspect,
Matthew Peterson, charging him with Robbery 1st Degree and
Conspiracy 2nd Degree. Anyone with information on his whereabouts
should contact Newark Police.
Anyone with additional information regarding this
incident should contact Detective Bystricky at DBystricky@newark.de.us
or 302-366-710 ext. 3136.
You can send
an anonymous text message tip by texting 302NPD and your message to TIP411.
Information can also be provided anonymously to Crime Stoppers at
1‐800‐TIP‐3333 or via the internet at www.tipsubmit.com where a reward may be
The Newark Police Department
affirms that all defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a