A man who allegedly went on a violent daylong rampage earlier this month attacking four Jewish men in separate incidents in the area of Lakewood, N.J. is being charged with federal hate crimes, the U.S. attorney for New Jersey announced Wednesday.
The first incident occurred on the afternoon of April 8th, when Dion Marsh, 27, forced a man out of his car, assaulted him, and then stole the vehicle, authorities said. Later that day, Marsh used another car to hit a pedestrian, who suffered several broken bones, officials said.
That night, authorities said, Marsh struck a third man with the stolen car, and then got out of the vehicle to stab the victim in the chest. Shortly afterward in adjacent Jackson Township, Marsh allegedly attempted to kill a fourth man by hitting him with the car, causing broken bones.
All four victims were described by federal prosecutors as “visibly identifiable Orthodox Jewish” men. All survived the assaults.
In addition to hate crime charges, March faces one count of carjacking. He is already in custody on state charges, including terrorism and attempted murder.
When he was arrested at his home in Manchester, N.J., at about midnight, he told officers “it had to be done,” according to the FBI. He then referred to Hasidic Jews as “the real devils.”
Lakewood is home to about 100,000 Orthodox Jews and the largest yeshiva in the country. Its residents have been targeted with anti-Semitic attacks for years as the rate of hate crimes against Jews statewide has reached record levels.