Richard Green, 52, of New Brunswick was charged in connection with vandalizing Jewish businesses
Highland Park, NJ - A New Brunswick man was charged with three counts of third-degree bias intimidation arising from a series of window-smashing incidents at Jewish businesses in Highland Park, and Jewish businesses and a school in New Brunswick and a religious center at Rutgers University in New Brunswick, Middlesex County Prosecutor Bruce J. Kaplan said late Thursday.
The charges were filed following an investigation in which authorities determined that Richard M. Green, 52, of Bayard Street, New Brunswick, targeted specific businesses and religious facilities of Jewish merchants, owners and students.
Green, charged on Nov. 30 with five counts of criminal mischief in Highland Park, also has been charged with five more criminal mischief counts stemming from the incidents in New Brunswick and at Rutgers. The counts are fourth-degree crimes.
A related bias intimidation count was filed in New Brunswick and by the Rutgers University Police Department.
Additionally, the Highland Park Police Department filed one bias intimidation charge, according to Chief Stephen J. Rizco of the Highland Park Police Department.
Police arrested Green in New Brunswick on Wednesday afternoon, after he smashed storefront windows of five businesses on Raritan Avenue in Highland Park early that morning.
“It’s easy to leap to conclusions,” Rabbi Ed Prince of Jerusalem Pizza, one of the targeted businesses, said on Wednesday. “I don’t want to do that. Whenever something like this occurs, people look for answers. I leave it in the hands of the professionals.”
New Brunswick Police Director Anthony A. Caputo said charges were filed against Green after it was determined that he also smashed windows at the Maoz Restaurant on George Street, the George Street Co-op on Morris Street and an office building on Bayard Street. The Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office is among tenants in that building.
New Brunswick police further charged that Green damaged windows at the Chabad House, a private religious school on College Avenue, on Nov. 27.
At Rutgers, Green was charged with smashing a window on Nov. 27 at Rutgers Hillel, another religious facility on College Avenue, according to Lt. Paul Fischer of the Rutgers University Police Department. An object thrown through the front window also damaged a computer screen inside the building.
The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) has condemned the vandalism.
The investigation in Highland Park was initiated by Detective John Sachau and Detective Nicole Young, both of the Highland Park Police Department, and Investigator Sue Kowalski of the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office.
The continuing investigation determined that the shops that were targeted are Jewish businesses that trade in such items as clothing, food and religious items, and are owned by Jewish merchants.
Police in Highland Park began their investigation after an officer on patrol noticed windows of several shops had been smashed. Business owners began calling police as they arrived at their stores.
The investigation determined that various objects were thrown at the windows to break them. No graffiti or offensive slogans or symbols were placed on any of the buildings in Highland Park, New Brunswick or at Rutgers.
The shops and religious centers were closed at the time and there were no injuries.