Assault by auto: Man charged with attempted murder for hitting pedestrian at Halo Farm parking lot

A Burlington Township man has been charged with attempted murder, aggravated assault, leaving the scene of a crash, endangering an injured victim, and assault by auto for allegedly crashing onto a pedestrian on purpose in the Halo Farms parking lot in Lawrence, police said.

Petar Armbruster III, 54, was arrested July 11. The hit-and-run happened just after 5 p.m. on July 8 in the parking lot of the popular local dairy store located at 970 Spruce Street in Lawrence near the border of Ewing and Trenton.

Officers responding to the scene on July 8 located the victim in the parking lot. The victim had multiple injuries and was transported to the Capital Health System Regional Medical Center in Trenton by Lawrence Township Emergency Medical Services. He remains in serious condition.

A police investigation determined that prior to the crash, Armbruster and the victim allegedly had been engaged in a verbal dispute near the 7-11 store. Armbruster followed the man from the 7-11 Store to the Halo Farm and Trenton Farmers Market parking lot. Armbruster allegedly sat in his car and waited for the victim and the victim’s girlfriend. As the couple entered the parking lot of Halo Farm, Armbruster allegedly drove his vehicle at a high rate of speed, striking the victim and nearly missing the victim’s girlfriend. He then allegedly fled the scene.

Armbruster was arrested by the Mercer County Sheriff’s Office on July 11 in Trenton. He is being lodged at the Mercer County Correction Center until his detention hearing, police said. The Mercer County Prosecutor’s Office, Mercer County Sheriff’s Office, and Trenton Police Department assisted with the investigation.

Anyone with information regarding the incident is asked to call Lawrence Township Police Detective Paulina Way at 609-844-7133 or email, or call Lawrence Township Police Detective Sean Kerins at 609-844-7121 or email