A New Jersey man appeared in court Tuesday after being arrested for allegedly shouting offensive language and racial slurs at his neighbors days earlier in the township of Mount Laurel.
Edward Cagney Mathews, 45, faces several criminal charges, including harassment and biased intimidation and trespassing after a video circulating on social media showed him shouting offensive and racial slurs at his neighbors, according to a Mount Laurel Police Department (MLPD) Facebook post.
Mount Laurel is located in South Jersey, about 20 miles from Philadelphia.
According to an affidavit, Mathews was captured on July 2 on a neighbor’s doorbell camera thrusting his hips in a lewd motion while laughing, while looking at the camera. He is also heard saying ‘f***ng monkey.’ The neighbor is a Black woman who is on the homeowners association board (HOA) and told police Mathews called her racial slurs over the past few months, the affidavit said. The affidavit states Mathew’s actions were an attempt to intimidate her into moving out of the neighborhood.
The same day, according to a second affidavit, Mathews allegedly hurled racial slurs during a verbal altercation with neighbors at a different residence. The affidavit says Mathews could be heard telling the neighbors that he ran other residents (African American and HOA board members) out of the community, and that one of the residents, whose husband is African American and the HOA board president, reported Mathews tried to enter her home.
According to the affidavit, the neighbors at the second residence told police Mathews called them racial slurs and appeared to kiss, lick, or spit at (one of the neighbors) in an attempt to escalate the altercation, before chest bumping him.
Video posted on social media shows the tail end of the confrontation.
Mathews spoke with CNN affiliate WPVI before he was arrested on Monday, saying, The only thing I could possibly say is I cannot apologize enough. I was drunk. I was out of line. I let my anger get the best of me.
There is nothing I’m going to be able to say that’s going to justify me using the words that I used. Whatever I need to do to make it up to the community and the world at this point seeing how big it is understand that I made a mistake, Mathews told WPVI. Allow me the ability to move forward just like we all deserve.
CNN is trying to reach Mathews for further comment. It’s unclear if he has an attorney.
On Monday, police arrested Mathews at his home where dozens of people were gathered.
Video from CNN affiliate KYW shows bottles being thrown at Mathews, his home and at police as they escorted him to the police vehicle.
Burlington County Prosecutor Scott A. Coffina said in a statement, It is difficult to overstate how vile and despicable the conduct by this defendant towards his neighbors was on Friday night. No one should ever have to deal with such hatred thrown in their face anywhere, but especially on their own doorstep.
The BCPO will also be reviewing evidence of other criminal acts that took place during the protest outside Mathews’ home, Coffina said.
Officer Kyle Gardner, the Mount Laurel Police Public Information Officer, told CNN the department had received complaints about Mathews before. We’ve dealt with him a handful of times, Gardner said.
We can assure our residents that incidents like this are thoroughly investigated and that those who commit such offenses will be held accountable for their actions, the MLPD said in its Facebook post.
Mathews is currently in custody at the Burlington County Jail in Mount Holly, NJ. A new court date will be set, likely Friday, according to Joel Bewley, Public Information Officer for the BCPO.