Anti-Hate Crime Initiative Follows Series of Violent Assaults on Members of Orthodox Jewish Community
An Ocean County, New Jersey man was charged this month with federal hate crimes for a series of violent assaults on members of the Orthodox Jewish community in and around Lakewood, New Jersey.
Dion Marsh, 27, of Manchester, New Jersey, is charged with four counts of violating the federal Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act and one count of carjacking.
Marsh was charged with “willfully causing bodily injury to four victims, and attempting to kill and cause injuries with dangerous weapons to three [victims], all because they were [part of the Orthodox Jewish Community.]”
“Marsh is in custody on related state charges and will make his initial appearance on the federal charges on a date to be determined.” – Department of Justice, U.S. District Attorney’s Office, District of New Jersey
According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court:
At 1:18 PM on April 8, 2022, Marsh forced a “visibly identifiable Orthodox Jewish man” out of his car in Lakewood, NJ, assaulting and injuring the victim in the process, and driving away in the stolen vehicle.
At 6:06 PM, Marsh was driving in Lakewood in a different car when he deliberately struck another “visibly identifiable Orthodox Jewish man” with the vehicle, attempting to kill the victim and causing the victim to suffer several broken bones.
At 6:55 PM, Marsh was once again driving the vehicle stolen from the first victim and attempted to kill another “visibly identifiable Orthodox Jewish man.” Marsh struck the victim, who was walking in Lakewood, with the stolen vehicle, then got out of the car and stabbed the victim in the chest with a knife. The victim suffered multiple injuries along with the stab wound.
At 8:23 PM, Marsh, still driving the stolen vehicle from the first victim, used the car to deliberately strike another “visibly identifiable Orthodox Jewish man” who was walking in nearby Jackson Township, New Jersey, attempting to kill the man and causing the victim to suffer several broken bones and internal injuries.
At 12:00 AM on April 9, 2022, law enforcement officers arrested Marsh at his residence.
The three hate crimes violations charging Marsh with attempted murder each carry a statutory maximum term of life in prison and a $250,000 fine.
The hate crime violation charging Marsh with assault 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.
The same day, U.S. Attorney Sellinger announced the launch of the Anti-Hate Crime Initiative in New Jersey entitled United Against Hate, “which seeks to directly connect federal, state, and local law enforcement with traditionally marginalized communities in order to build trust and encourage the reporting of hate crimes and hate incidents.”
“In response to a dramatic increase in hate crimes and hate incidents, we are launching the United Against Hate Initiative in New Jersey. Combatting hate crimes, hate incidents, and discrimination is core to our mission, and through dynamic outreach and prevention efforts, we are eager to take steps to combat hate beyond prosecution,” said U.S. Attorney Sellinger.
“The ripple effect of hate crimes is felt hundreds, even thousands of miles away,” FBI Acting Special Agent in Charge Reilly said. “People who identify with those victims see themselves and wonder ‘will it happen here?’ and ‘Will I be next?’ The Constitution of the United States grants us many freedoms. When any one of those freedoms – or any other constitutional right – is threatened or violated, we have to respond. And when I say ‘we,’ I’m not speaking just as a member of the FBI. I’m speaking as a member of the community. Because if we don’t respond, we risk the erosion of our very identity as a nation. That's why the FBI embarked on a hate crimes awareness campaign last year. We want people to call us if they have witnessed or been subjected to a hate crime.”
The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of New Jersey was chosen as one of three districts, out of 94 districts in the nation, to advance the United Against Hate outreach initiative.
“The U.S. Attorney’s Office plans to engage with communities across New Jersey to deepen connections with those communities, further hate crimes prevention efforts, and encourage more people to report hate crimes and hate incidents.” – Department of Justice, U.S. District Attorney’s Office, District of New Jersey