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Machete Wielding Man Harassed People Outside Jewish School

A man with a machete yelled and allegedly threatened people outside a Jewish religious school in Lakewood on Thursday evening said police, who are still looking for the suspect.

No one was injured in the incident.

The man, who remains unidentified, wore a ski mask and played music loudly from a portable speaker outside the building at 901 Monmouth Ave. at about 8:30 p.m., witnesses told the Lakewood Police Department.

The address is home to a Jewish school, Bais Medrash Toras Chesed, located on the corner of Monmouth Ave. and 9th Street in Lakewood.

The incident was first reported by New Jersey 101.5.

An individual who first notified police reportedly saw the suspect and walked outside the building, according to police, who did not say whether it was a student who had called. The suspect then “reportedly got upset” and began to yell profanities, witnesses told police. The suspect made no specific threats, officials said.

The caller went back inside the building and told one of his friends about had happened, according to police.

The caller’s friend told police he looked out the door and saw the man brandishing a machete and continuing to yell about 20 feet away, officials said.

The suspect left the scene before officers arrived, according to police.

Officers conducted an “extensive search of the area,” which included an evacuation of the building Thursday evening, police said.

Witnesses described the suspect as about 5-foot-10 with a heavy set build, police said. He was wearing a white-and-purple jacket and was last seen walking east on 9th Street, according to police.

The Anti-Defamation League, an organization that fights against antisemitism, said in a tweet it was aware of the situation and had reached out to officials and community partners to learn more.

Officials ask anyone with information to call the Lakewood Police Department at 732-363-0200.

Source: https://www.nj.com/news/2023/01/machete-wielding-man-harassed-people-outside-jewish-school-witnesses-tell-police.html