NEW BRUNSWICK — 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 announced Thursday evening.
The charges were filed following an investigation in which authorities determined that Richard M. Green, 52, allegedly 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. A related bias intimidation count was filed in New Brunswick and by the Rutgers University Police Department.
In addition, 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 Nov. 30, hours after he allegedly smashed storefront windows of five businesses on Raritan Avenue in Highland Park.
In New Brunswick, Director Anthony A. Caputo of the New Brunswick Police Department announced that charges were filed against Green after it was determined that in the early morning hours of Nov. 30 he allegedly smashed windows at the Maoz Restaurant on George Street, the George Street Co-op on Morris Street, and an office building located 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 intensive 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.
As is the case with all criminal defendants, the charges against Green are merely accusations and he is presumed innocent until proven guilty.
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