Elected leaders and police held a press conference Sunday denouncing the hate that allegedly motivated a New Jersey man's violent attacks in their community.
Dion Marsh, 27, is accused of violently attacking three Jewish men in a string of crimes that started with a carjacking Friday afternoon in Lakewood.
The hate that allegedly motivated the crimes rattled people across New Jersey, whose governor condemned the attacks and offered his support. An investigation into the brutal spree has investigators asking if the driver responsible deliberately attacked random Jewish people with the intent to kill them.
“The antisemitic acts that happened Friday night should never happen anywhere, especially in a town like Lakewood," Mayor Raymond Coles said Sunday.
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Marsh's alleged crime spree began in Lakewood around 1 p.m. when he carjacked a Toyota Camry from its driver in the vaccinty of Martin Luther King Driver and Pine Street. Video appears to capture the moments after the carjacking as Marsh takes a corner in the Camry with its driver hanging on to the side.
The violence escalated when police said Marsh hit a pedestrian around 6 p.m. at Central Avenue and Carlton Avenue. The extent of his victim's wasn't immediately known but police said he was last listed as stable.
Before the hour was over, police said Marsh would stab a man in the chest. He was taken to Jersey Shore University Medical Center with critical injuries, police said.
The 27-year-old would strike again before his eventual arrest, according to police. Marsh ran over another pedestrian, this time in Galassi Court in Jackson Township. This victim was also rushed to JSUMC with critical injuries.
“Our hearts do go out to the victim, the three individuals who are very seriously wounded, and our prayers go out to them," Rep. Chris Smith said. "Justice has to be done and there has got to a chilling effect on this kind of hatred that is absolute.”
The FBI is now involved in the investigation. Officials are looking into whether Marsh committed a possible bias crime because all the victims are Jewish. It's unclear if he made any antisemitic comments.
“I’m a grandchild of Holocaust survivors, as are many people in our town, and we won't stand for it," Police Commissioner Meir Lichtenstein said.
The exact motivation for his actions is still under investigation.
Attorney information for Marsh was not immediately known. Police said he was arrested at his home in Manchester Township late Friday.
He's facing charges of attempted murder, carjacking, and bias intimidation, among other charges.