Mount Laurel Man Seen in Racist Rant Also Accused of Stalking
MOUNT LAUREL — A township man whose racial slurs in a video sparked a rowdy protest outside his home has been hit with new charges for more reckless behavior involving neighbors.
Investigators found evidence that Edward C. Mathews had fired ball bearings at two vehicles belonging to female neighbors, causing $2,350 in damage, Burlington County Prosecutor Scott Coffina said on Thursday.
He is also accused of stalking one of the vehicle owners.
Mathews has been in Burlington County jail on bias intimidation charges for a hateful tirade caught on video late last week.
The new charges prompted a delay in his detention hearing, now likely rescheduled for Tuesday, authorities said, while also sharing more detail about why Mathews hadn't spent the entire holiday weekend in a jail cell.
Why wasn't Edward Matthews arrested the first time?
When Mount Laurel Police first encountered Mathews last Friday, they had requested that the charges be placed on a warrant, allowing him to be taken into custody and put in jail, Coffina said.
But a Municipal Court judge denied it and those initial charges were by summons.
Police then secured additional video taken July 2, which shows Mathews bumping his chest into another man and appearing to spit in another person’s face, while using racial slurs even after police showed up to the scene.
He was taken into custody on Monday and charged with fourth-degree bias crime with purpose to intimidate and two counts of harassment.
What else has Edward Matthews been charged with?
Mount Laurel Police then raided Mathews’ home after getting a search warrant, based on threats he had made and one neighbor’s report to police that she believed Mathews was behind damage to her family’s vehicles.
A slingshot and multiple ball bearings, which matched the projectiles used to damage the cars, as well as a stash of psilocybin mushrooms and packaging materials were recovered from Mathews home, Coffina said.
On Thursday, the following third-degree charges were announced against Mathews:
- two counts of criminal mischief
- possession of a weapon (slingshot) for an unlawful purpose
- possession of a controlled dangerous substance
- possession of a controlled dangerous substance with intent to distribute
He also faced stalking, two counts of certain persons not to have weapons and possession of drug paraphernalia — a disorderly persons offense.
Mount Laurel’s Police Chief said that it’s a prime example of the impact community members can have in sharing tips on criminal activity.
“Because someone recorded Mathews’ conduct on Friday night, we had the evidence to bring the previous charges, and the opportunity to gather the evidence that led to these additional charges, including for damage we allege he recently caused to his neighbors’ vehicles,” Chief Stephen Riedener said.