HomeTri TownTri Town NewsLaw enforcement authorities add terrorism charge in wake of local attacks

Law enforcement authorities add terrorism charge in wake of local attacks

JACKSON – Law enforcement authorities have added charges of terrorism to the list of charges a resident of Manchester is facing after he allegedly attacked members of the Orthodox Jewish community in Jackson and in Lakewood.

According to law enforcement authorities, on April 8, Dion Marsh, 27, of Manchester, was charged with three counts of attempted murder, carjacking, possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose, unlawful possession of a weapon and bias intimidation, all in connection with a series of incidents that occurred in Lakewood and Jackson that day.

Less than one week later, on April 14, Marsh was additionally charged with terrorism after Ocean County Prosecutor Bradley D. Billhimer sought approval from Acting New Jersey Attorney General Matthew Platkin for the charge.

Billhimer said the terrorism charges were a direct result of further investigation in addition to the previously filed charges.

According to New Jersey state law, “a person is guilty of the crime of terrorism if he commits or attempts, conspires or threatens … to influence or incite an act of terror against an individual or group of individuals based on their actual or perceived race, religion, color, national origin, affectional or sexual orientation, sex, gender identity or expression, disability, creed, or any other characteristic protected under the “Law Against Discrimination … ”

According to law enforcement authorities, at 1:15 p.m. April 8, officers from the Lakewood Police Department were summoned to the area of Martin Luther King Drive and Pine Street to investigate a report of a carjacking. The responding officers determined a male suspect approached a 2016 Toyota Camry, assaulted the driver and fled the area in the vehicle.

At 6 p.m., Lakewood police received a report of a pedestrian being struck by a motor vehicle in the area of Central and Carlton avenues. Responding officers discovered a man who had been struck by a dark-colored vehicle. The man was taken to an area hospital for treatment.

At 6:55 p.m., Lakewood police officers responded to a 911 call to investigate a reported stabbing in the vicinity of Pine Circle Drive and Lakewood-New Egypt Road. The officers discovered a man with a stab wound to his chest. The man was taken to an area hospital for treatment.

At 8:20 p.m., Jackson police officers responded to a 911 call to investigate a report of a pedestrian being struck by a motor vehicle in the area of Galassi Court. The responding officers determined the man had been struck by the same vehicle that was taken in the carjacking in Lakewood earlier in the day. The man was taken to an area hospital for treatment.

An investigation conducted by the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Major Crime Unit and Lakewood police determined Marsh was allegedly responsible for all of the criminal acts.

Detectives from the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Major Crime Unit and the Manchester Township Police Department arrested Marsh at his residence in Manchester without incident the same day, according to law enforcement authorities.

Jackson officials condemned the attacks with Mayor Michael Reina stating that “hate has no home in our community, not today, not ever. Hate will not be tolerated here under any circumstance. And when violent crimes are committed against any resident or members of specific ethnic or religious groups, those who commit such crimes will be arrested and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.

“We are shocked and saddened by the attacks that have impacted innocent members of the Orthodox and Jewish communities. Jackson is a diverse, inclusive and welcoming community. In good times and in bad, we will stand by our neighbors and we will work tirelessly to protect the rights and well-being of our fellow citizens,” Reina said.

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