Lakewood, New Jersey - A New Jersey man was charged with federal hate crimes for a series of violent assaults on members of the Orthodox Jewish community in and around Lakewood, New Jersey. Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clarke of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division and U.S. Attorney Philip R. Sellinger for the District of New Jersey announced Wednesday.
Dion Marsh, 27, of Manchester, is charged with four counts of violating the federal Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act and one count of carjacking. With respect to the hate crimes violations, Marsh is charged with willfully causing bodily injury to four victims, and attempting to kill and cause injuries with dangerous weapons to three of them, all because they were Jewish. Marsh is in custody on related state charges and will make his initial appearance on the federal charges on a date to be determined.
According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court:
At 1:18 p.m. on April 8, Marsh forced a visibly identifiable Orthodox Jewish man out of his car in Lakewood, assaulting and injuring him in the process. Marsh took control of the man’s car and drove away. A surveillance video in the area captured Marsh arriving in the area prior to the carjacking and assault.
At 6:06 p.m., Marsh was in Lakewood driving a different car when he deliberately struck another visibly identifiable Orthodox Jewish man with the vehicle, causing the victim to suffer several broken bones.
At 6:55 p.m., Marsh, once again driving the vehicle that he had stolen from the first victim, used it to deliberately strike another visibly identifiable Orthodox Jewish man who was walking in Lakewood. Marsh got out of the vehicle and stabbed the man in the chest with a knife, causing significant injuries.
At 8:23 p.m., Marsh, still driving the vehicle that he had stolen from the first victim, used it to deliberately strike another visibly identifiable Orthodox Jewish man who was walking in nearby Jackson Township, New Jersey, causing the man to suffer several broken bones and internal injuries.
At approximately 12:00 a.m. on April 9, law enforcement officers arrested Marsh at his residence.
The three hate crimes violations charging Marsh with attempting to kill those victims each carry a statutory maximum term of life in prison and a $250,000 fine. The hate crime violation charging Marsh with assaulting the other victim carries a statutory maximum term of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. The carjacking charge carries a statutory maximum term of 15 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
Assistant Attorney General Clarke and U.S. Attorney Sellinger credited special agents of the FBI Newark Field Division, Red Bank Resident Agency, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge George M. Crouch Jr.; officers of the Lakewood Police Department, under the direction of Chief of Police Gregory H. Meyer; officers of the Jackson Township Police Department, under the direction of Chief of Police Matthew Kunz; officers of the Ocean County Sheriff’s Office, under the direction of Sheriff Michael G. Mastronardy; prosecutors and detectives of the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office, under the direction of Prosecutor Bradley D. Billhimer, and officers of the New Jersey State Police, under the direction of Superintendent Col. Patrick J. Callahan, with the investigation leading to the charges.
The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney R. Joseph Gribko for the U.S. Attorney’s Office’s Civil Rights Division.
The charges and allegations contained in the complaint are merely accusations and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.