Ocean County Prosecutor Bradley D. Billhimer has announced that on June 29, Dion Marsh, 27, of Manchester Township, was indicted by a Grand Jury sitting in Ocean County on charges of terrorism, two counts of carjacking, seven counts of bias intimidation, four counts of attempted murder, attempted kidnapping, five counts of possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose and five counts of unlawful possession of a weapon.
Additionally, Michelle Strachan, 28, of Jackson, was indicted by the same Grand Jury on charges of hindering apprehension, according to a press release from the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office.
The charges Marsh is facing stem from a series of incidents that occurred in Lakewood and in Jackson on April 8.
According to the press release, on April 8 at 1:10 p.m. in the area of Arlington Avenue and Lincoln Street in Lakewood, a male was traveling northbound on Arlington Avenue operating 2011 Toyota Camry when he was approached by an individual who was on foot.
The individual attempted to open the car door, which the man locked as he watched the suspect approach the vehicle.
When the individual attempted to open the door, the driver accelerated the vehicle. The suspect reached through the Camry’s open window and attempted to hold on to the vehicle while the man continued to drive. The vehicle traveled about one block before the suspect let go of the vehicle.
At 1:15 p.m., officers from the Lakewood Police Department were called 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 had approached a 2016 Toyota Camry, assaulted the driver and fled the area in the vehicle.
At 5:20 p.m., a male pedestrian was crossing Kimball Road at Central Avenue in Lakewood when a dark colored sedan struck him from the right side, causing minor bodily injury. The vehicle then fled the scene.
At 5:25 p.m., a 911 call was placed by a man in the area of Carlton and Central avenues in Lakewood. The man reported that his son, who is a minor, had been approached by a black Honda Accord occupied by a skinny black male. The caller said the black male attempted to physically grab his son and pull him into the vehicle, but was unsuccessful.
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 had been struck by a dark colored vehicle. The man was taken to Jersey Shore University Medical Center, Neptune, where he was treated for his injuries and released.
At 6:55 p.m., Lakewood police officers responded to a 911 call in reference to a 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 Jersey Shore University Medical Center where he where he was treated for his injuries and released.
At 8:20 p.m., officers from the Jackson Police Department 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 Jackson officers were able to determine the man had been struck by the same vehicle that was taken in the carjacking incident in Lakewood earlier in the day. The man was taken to Jersey Shore University Medical Center where he was treated and released to a rehabilitation facility.
An investigation conducted by the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Major Crime Unit and the Lakewood Police Department determined Marsh was allegedly responsible for all of the reported acts, according to the prosecutor’s office press release.
Later on the night of April 8, detectives from the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Major Crime Unit and the Manchester Township Police Department arrested Marsh at his residence in Manchester Township without incident.
Marsh has been lodged in the Ocean County Jail, Toms River, since the date of his arrest, according to the press release.
Previously published reports about the incidents that occurred on April 8 indicated the victims were members of the area’s Orthodox Jewish community.
On April 8, Marsh was charged with three counts of attempted murder, carjacking, possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose, unlawful possession of a weapon and three counts of bias intimidation.
Also on April 8, detectives conducted an interview with Strachan and determined Strachan allegedly provided conflicting information. Strachan was subsequently charged with hindering apprehension.
On April 13, Marsh was charged additionally with attempted murder, attempted carjacking, attempted kidnapping and three counts of bias intimidation.
Billhimer subsequently sought approval from Acting New Jersey Attorney General Matthew Platkin to charge Marsh with terrorism. Accordingly, Marsh was charged with terrorism on April 14, according to the press release.
“A thorough review of the totality of the circumstances surrounding this defendant’s intent, conduct and behavior led us to the charge of terrorism. We are prepared to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Marsh intended to terrorize the Jewish community in Lakewood and Jackson on April 8. This (Grand Jury) indictment is just the next step in bringing this young man to justice,” Billhimer said.