Man Faces 20 Years in Prison After Robbing a Man at Knife Point for $1

A 32-year-old Jersey City felon may face up to 20 years in prison after allegedly robbing a man at knifepoint and demanding $1, officials said.

Michael Gerst, of the 100 block of Martin Luther King Drive, made his first court appearance on the charges today in Central Judicial Processing court in Jersey City.

He is charged with first degree armed robbery, resisting arrest and a weapons offense related to a red-handled steak knife in connection to the alleged Aug. 3 incident, the criminal complaint says.

Although first degree armed robbery carries a possible sentence of 10 to 20 years in prison, the public defender argued at today’s hearing that it would be more appropriate that Gerst be charged with aggravated assault, as he is accused of going up to a man with a knife and $1 and there is no real value in that sum.

Hudson County Assistant Prosecutor John Wojtal said “the knife was recovered from the defendant.”

Gerst has six prior arrests, two disorderly persons convictions and a criminal conviction for attempted arson, court officials said.

His bail was set at $80,000 cash or bond at today’s hearing by CJP Judge Kelly Austin.