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Officials: Manchester man burned home to the ground, defaced others with swastikas

Officials say that a home on First Street in the Pine Lake section of the town was nearly finished being built when 34-year-old Ron Carr set it on fire.

Matt Trapani and Chris Keating

Jun 9, 2023, 5:03 PM

Updated 380 days ago

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Authorities say they arrested a man who intentionally set fire to one home and spray-painted swastikas on other homes in a Manchester Township neighborhood.
Officials say that a home on First Street in the Pine Lake section of the town was nearly finished being built when 34-year-old Ron Carr set it on fire, burning the home to the ground.
Angel and Brenda Rivas were supposed to soon move into the home, which they say was the home of their dreams.
“It’s just heartbreaking,” says Brenda Rivas.
"For us to just watch it go down like that in a matter of hours is just mind-blowing,” says Angel Rivas.
The couple purchased the property in 2017. They had been saving and building ever since.
"We used to live in this neighborhood, so me and my mom would take daily walks and we would walk past here, and my mom would say, ‘We should buy a lot there one day,” says Brenda Rivas.
“We put a lot of hard work, a lot of time, just like she said, it was just us, you know?” says Angel Rivas.
The couple says they bought the land the day it went on sale in 2017, with help from their parents' retirement money. They were set to move in come the fall.
Officials say that Carr spray-painted swastikas on 14 homes in the neighborhood on June 7.
The Rivas home was burned on June 8.
Surveillance video appears to show Carr spraying one of the homes.
"I couldn't believe the person was that stupid to come and do that with the Ring [camera],” says homeowner Rick Boehm.
Boehm is not Jewish, and none of the homes targeted belong to Jewish families. Authorities still charged Carr with arson and bias intimidation.
The Rivases say they are looking to rebuild their home. They received word from the mayor of Manchester that a fund will be set up to help them pay for their new home.
"I think we are a very welcoming community and most of our residents would be appalled by this act,” says Mayor Robert Arace.
Those who know Carr tell News 12 that he had been suffering from mental health issues. The Ocean County prosecutor says he was arrested and taken to a treatment facility.


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