Alhafeez Williams is accused of putting 77-year-old former Newark Mayor Sharpe James in a chokehold and stealing a gold chain and cross from him on Thursday afternoon. The former mayor was not injured.
The 20-year-old remains held on $50,000 bail after his court appearance Monday.
James said he will not be pressing charges. James told The Associated Press last week that he thinks Williams should be given a job, guidance and mentoring.
The Essex County Prosecutor's Office says the case will proceed through the courts.