LAKEWOOD — A man has now been charged after officials found a grenade strapped to a utility pole near a Jewish school in November.

The device was found on Nov. 19 at the corner of 4th Street and Forest Avenue, which prompted the State Police Bomb Unit to be brought in, according to police Capt. Gregory Staffordsmith. The grenade was found to be inert.

The Jewish Orthodox residents were upset by the discovery of the grenade in their neighborhood. Lakewood has one of the largest Jewish populations in the state, according to the 2020 U.S. Census Bureau.

The Satmar Shul Lakewood is located behind an apartment building at the intersection.

Intended to keep a poster from being removed

The investigation determined that Benjamin Gibber, 29, of Lakewood, put the grenade on the pole with the intent to "deter someone from removing a poster that was designed to bring awareness to specific events occurring in the Israel-Hamas war," according to Staffordsmith. He did not disclose the contents of the message.

Gibber was charged with was with creating a false public alarm.

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