Ocean County, NJ, Man Indicted on 32 Counts, Including Terrorism, Attempted Murder
Authorities in Ocean County say a Manchester Township man has been indicted by a grand jury on a 32-count indictment centered around a string of violent events this past April.
Ocean County Prosecutor Bradley Billhimer says 27-year-old Dion Marsh has been indicted on charges of terrorism, two counts of carjacking, seven counts of bias intimidation, another 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, 28-year-old Michelle Strachan of Jackson was indicted by the same grand jury on two different charges of hindering apprehension.
A string of violent events that lead to a terrorism charge
According to Billhimer's office,
- At around 1:10 on the afternoon of April 8th 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 the suspect, who was on foot. The suspect attempted to open the car door - which the victim locked as he watched the suspect approach the vehicle. Upon the suspect attempting to open the door, the victim accelerated the vehicle. The suspect reached through the open window and attempted to hold on to the vehicle while the victim continued to drive - traveling approximately one city block before the suspect let go."
- Five minutes later, Lakewood Township officers were called to Martin Luther King Drive and Pine Street for a report of a carjacking. There, it was determined that a man approached the driver of a 2016 Toyota Camry, assaulted him, and fled the area in that vehicle.
- Police say at 5:20 on that same afternoon, a man who was crossing Kimball Road at Central Avenue in Lakewood was struck by a vehicle, causing minor injuries. The vehicle then fled the scene.
- Five minutes after that incident, a man in the area of Carlton and Central Avenues in Lakewood called 9-1-1 to report that his juvenile son had been approached by a "black Honda Accord occupied by a skinny black male." The caller stated that the man attempted to grab the minor but he was unsuccessful.
- At 6 PM, Lakewood Township officers received a report of a pedestrian being struck by a vehicle in the area of Central and Carlton Avenues.
- Just before 7 PM, Lakewood officers responded to a 9-1-1 call in reference to a stabbing in the vicinity of Pine Circle Drive and Lakewood-New Egypt Road. There, cops found a man with a stab wound to his chest.
- At about 8:20 PM, officers with the Jackson Township Police Department responded to a 9-1-1 call for a report of a pedestrian being struck by a vehicle in the area of Galassi Court. Responding officers determined that man had been struck by the same vehicle that was taken in the carjacking incident in Lakewood earlier in the day.
An investigation by the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office, "revealed that Marsh was responsible for all of these criminal acts."
On April 8th, Marsh was arrested without incident at his home in Manchester Township. He has been held in the Ocean County jail since being taken into custody.
Also on April 8th, detectives conducted an interview with Michelle Strachan and determined that Strachan provided conflicting information. He was charged with hindering apprehension.
Billhimer comments on the terrorism charge
"A thorough review of the totality of the circumstances surrounding this defendant’s intent, conduct and behavior lead 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 Township(s) on April 8, 2022. This indictment is just the next step in bringing this young man to justice," Billhimer said in a statement.
The public is reminded that charges are accusations and all persons are considered innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.