Anthrax probe 'person of interest' charged with assault in Point Pleasant Beach

(08/06/04) POINT PLEASANT BEACH - A man who had three of his homes searched in connection with the 2001 anthrax attacks was arrested Thursday night on an unrelated assault charge.

Police say 46-year-old Dr. Kenneth Berry was involved in an altercation with three of his family members while checking into the White Sands hotel in Point Pleasant Beach. According to authorities, the fight involved a cell phone and may have been triggered by the stress of the day's earlier FBI search. A police spokesperson says an off-duty Chatham police officer broke up the altercation.

Agents from the FBI and Postal Inspection Service raided three houses belonging to Berry Thursday in connection with the deadly anthrax attacks of 2001. Two homes are in upstate New York and one is located in Dover Township. Eyewitnesses say agents carried out several bulky bags of items and seized cars at the Dover home.

Berry is the founder of an anti-terrorist organization that trains medical professionals to respond to chemical and biological attacks. Authorities say he is a 'person of interest' and may have knowledge of anthrax bacteria.

Berry was charged with assault after the hotel incident and released on bail.

Related story: Federal agents search Dover Township house in anthrax attack probe

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