NEW YORK, NY – Audrey Strauss, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, Thomas E. Walsh II, Rockland County District Attorney, William F. Sweeney Jr., Assistant Director-in-Charge of the New York Field Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (“FBI”), and Raymond McCullagh, Chief of the Clarkstown Police Department, announced that DWAYNE HICKS and TNAIYA WILLIAMS were arrested on March 6, 2021, based on a criminal Complaint filed in White Plains federal court. HICKS and WILLIAMS are charged with conspiracy to commit carjacking and carjacking, stemming from their participation in a brutal beating and robbery of a victim in New City, New York. HICKS and WILLIAMS will be presented before United States Magistrate Judge Andrew E. Krause in White Plains federal court later today.
U.S. Attorney Audrey Strauss said: “As alleged, Dwayne Hicks and Tnaiya Williams took part in a brazen and brutal carjacking, inflicting grievous bodily injuries to the victim and leaving him for dead. Thanks to the FBI and the Clarkstown Police, Hicks and Williams are in custody and facing justice in federal court.”
Rockland County District Attorney Thomas E. Walsh II said: “The arrests of these two individuals are another example of great cooperation by multiple law enforcement agencies working together to ensure that Rockland County remains a safe community. I commend the dedication and professionalism by all those involved. We will now push forward with an aggressive prosecution of the crimes alleged to bring closure to the victim of this violent attack.”
FBI Assistant Director William F. Sweeney Jr. said: “As we allege, the subjects in this case committed unfathomable acts of violence when they brutally beat and stabbed a man, left him naked and bloody in a snowbank, and stole his car. I want to commend the quick action of our law enforcement partners and the FBI Westchester County Safe Streets Task Force in getting these assailants off the street before they could do more harm.”
Clarkstown Police Chief Raymond McCullagh said: “This heinous crime was not perpetrated on just one victim alone, it affected our entire community. Though these types of crimes are thankfully uncommon in Clarkstown, the men and women of the Clarkstown Police Department were able to swiftly find justice for the victim and allay the concerns of the community. We would like to thank District Attorney Thomas Walsh of the RCDA, FBI, and the U.S. Attorney’s Office of the Southern District for their partnership in this investigation.”
As alleged in the Complaint unsealed in White Plains federal court:
On February 28, 2021, HICKS lured a victim to a certain residence in New City, New York. Once the victim arrived there, HICKS and multiple other assailants, including WILLIAMS, viciously attacked the victim. HICKS, WILLIAMS, and others forced the victim to strip naked, stole his personal belongings, including the keys to his car, and then beat the victim with a baseball bat, belts, and their hands, and repeatedly slashed and stabbed the victim with a large knife. The victim ultimately fled, after being left, naked and covered in blood, in a pile of snow, and some of the assailants drove off in the victim’s car.
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HICKS, 27, of Spring Valley, New York and WILLIAMS, 26, of New City, New York are each charged with one count of conspiracy to commit carjacking, which carries a maximum sentence of five years in prison, and one count of carjacking, which carries a maximum sentence of 25 years in prison. The statutory maximum penalties are prescribed by Congress and are provided here for informational purposes only, as any sentencing of the defendants would be determined by the judge.
Ms. Strauss praised the investigative work of the FBI and its Westchester County Safe Streets Task Force, the Clarkstown Police Department, and the Rockland County District Attorney’s Office.
The case is being handled by the Office’s White Plains Division. Assistant United States Attorneys Derek Wikstrom and T. Josiah Pertz are in charge of the prosecution.
The charges contained in the Complaint are merely accusations, and the defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.