Ocean County Prosecutor looking for witnesses of Seaside Heights BLM assault
The Ocean County Prosecutors Office is looking for witnesses to come forward who can truthfully detail what they saw and heard at the Black Lives Matter Protest in Seaside Heights last Saturday that led to the arrest of Jamaal Holmes of Toms River.
Holmes was a member of the BLM movement with about 20-25 other people and was charged with Simple Assault after allegedly punching a 68-year old man in the face.
Ocean County Prosecutor Bradley Billhimer announced that his office and team of investigators is currently reviewing the facts and circumstances surrounding an allegation of simple assault against Jamaal Holmes.
Any eyewitnesses to this incident are encouraged to contact Sgt. Thomas Tiernan of the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office at (732) 929-2027, extension 3149, or Detective David Margentino of the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office at extension 3246.
While marching on the Boardwalk along with nearly 25 additional Black Lives Matter Supporters, Seaside Heights Police say Holmes struck a 68-year-old man in the facial area during a verbal altercation between the two located at Sherman and the Boardwalk.
The victim fell to the boardwalk, police said, after being struck and sustained a small laceration to the back of the head.
Holmes was charged and released from the Seaside Heights Police Department.
A Toms River woman who was on the boardwalk during the movement on Saturday afternoon told Townsquare Media News on Sunday morning that she was there with about 20 other individuals and stated that the 68-year old man was "heckling us like many others did what what he did, unlike others, was get physical."
She said the 68-year old man was "in my face screaming profanities and had spit on me. When he didn't get a reaction from myself and the few around me is when he moved onward to Jamaal."
In a 30-second video she shared with Townsquare Media News that does not depict what happened prior to the incident, Jamaal is chanting Black Lives Matter and is approached by a man who says "Hey, j-----f, take the mask off you scumbag. Take the mask off!"
An altercation then ensues that is not visibly clear on camera only that Jamaal's phone fell to the ground.
Jamaal then picks it up and says "that's what happens when you lay hands on people buddy."
The witness who provided the video said that he swung at Jamal and hit him twice and Jamaal then pushes him away.
"The man appeared drunk, like I said he spit on me and smelled of alcohol, so when he was pushed for hitting someone he fell back and tripped on his bike."
She said the man had first approached and began yelling at Boaz Matlack who was leading the march before making his way toward Jamaal.
"Boaz responded with the bullhorn saying "Have a good day sir". We had people with opposing opinions yell towards us all day, it was expected and it's totally fine."
Another witness told Townsquare Media News that the 68-year old man grabbed at Jamaal's mask and "also pushed his horn into his face."
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