Police: Lakewood man arrested for approaching multiple people while brandishing machete

Lakewood police say a 22-year-old man brandished a machete Monday night on Forest Avenue.

Lanette Espy, Chris Keating and Matt Trapani

Mar 14, 2023, 4:49 PM

Updated 438 days ago


Police say a 22-year-old man from Lakewood faces charges for approaching multiple people Monday night while brandishing a machete.
Lakewood police say Max Sanchez did not make any specific threats but caused fear of eminent injury or harm to each pedestrian he approached.
“The community was scared, and rightly so,” says Lakewood Township Committee Member Meir Liechtenstein.
Witnesses tell News 12 New Jersey that Sanchez was approaching people on Forest Avenue and asking them random questions. At one point, he allegedly approached the men outside of the busy Satmar Shul but never entered the building.
Lakewood police say that Monday night's incident occurred in a neighborhood where a large portion of Orthodox Jewish families reside but that there is nothing indicating Sanchez chose to menace the victims based on their religious beliefs.
"Thankfully it turns out that from what the police are seeing at this time it is not an antisemitic or bias type incident,” Liechtenstein says.
Sanchez was taken into custody and transported to Ocean County Jail. He was charged with multiple offenses, including assault and possession of a weapon. Police say the machete was recovered.
Police say they are now looking into several unrelated cases in which Sanchez may have been involved.

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