Statement from Attorney General Platkin, Ocean County Prosecutor Billhimer on Suspected Bias Incident in Manchester

For Immediate Release: June 7, 2023

Office of the Attorney General
– Matthew J. Platkin, Attorney General
Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office
– Bradley D. Billhimer, Prosecutor

For Further Information:

Media Inquiries-
Dan Prochilo

Attorney General Matthew J. Platkin and Ocean County Prosecutor Bradley D. Billhimer today announced an ongoing investigation after several residential properties were spray-painted with swastikas and a suspicious house fire ignited in Manchester Township in a suspected bias incident on Tuesday.

The New Jersey Division of Criminal Justice, the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Major Crime Unit, Arson Squad, and Bias Crime Units, and the Manchester Township Police Department are working cooperatively on the joint investigation into that incident. One suspect has been taken into custody. That individual’s name is not being released at this time.

Random acts of hate designed to instill fear and to violate New Jerseyans’ sense of security and belonging, solely based on who they are and what they believe in, will be dealt with swiftly and harshly by law enforcement. Those who feel entitled to trample on their neighbors’ rights to live in peace and exercise their constitutional freedoms will not find a safe haven in New Jersey.

Multiple law enforcement agencies are collaborating in the ongoing investigation into these crimes, which resulted in several instances of vandalism and property damage around Manchester Township. We want to express our gratitude to the diligent and dedicated staff of the New Jersey Division of Criminal Justice, the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office and the Manchester Township Police Department, who are working hard to resolve this case.

The investigation is ongoing and no further information is being released at this time.