Police: Howell man charged for threatening Lakewood Orthodox Jewish community

A Howell man is facing charges for allegedly posting threats online aimed at Lakewood’s Orthodox Jewish community.

News 12 Staff

Mar 28, 2020, 12:05 AM

Updated 1,521 days ago

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Police: Howell man charged for threatening Lakewood Orthodox Jewish community
A Howell man is facing charges for allegedly posting threats online aimed at Lakewood’s Orthodox Jewish community.
Lakewood police say that 43-year-old Anthony Lodespoto made “specific threats to cause harm” in a Facebook post related to members of the Jewish community for not complying with Gov. Phil Murphy’s social distancing orders.
Lakewood police have had to break up several weddings and large gatherings this month after the governor issued the order to prevent the spread of the coronavirus around the state.
Other Ocean County residents have posted pictures and videos on social media of what appear to be school buses picking up and dropping off children, even though all schools in New Jersey public and private have been ordered to close.
Gov. Phil Murphy, Attorney General Gurbir Grewal and New Jersey State Police Superintendent Col. Patrick Callahan have addressed the issue and said that anyone violating the order would be subject to criminal charges. But all three have also stated that even if a small group of people are being “noncompliant” that it is not a time for hate speech or anti-Semitic attacks.
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Callahan wrote in a Facebook post, “While there have been a few instances of group gatherings that were addressed by law enforcement, the vast majority of the community understands the importance of social distancing and are complying with the executive order. Law enforcement in our state have worked tirelessly to build relationships with our communities, and we will not let the actions of a few determine how a city is viewed. Acts of anti-Semitism will not be tolerated, and any reports will be thoroughly investigated.”
Lodespoto was charged with second-degree terroristic threats and will be held at the Ocean County Jail.
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