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Reaction to Gang-related Bias in Lakewood

“Bias crimes are not tolerated in Lakewood.” That’s the reaction from Township Committeeman Steven Langert following a gang initiation Tuesday targeting an Orthodox Jewish woman.

Suspect arrested in bias, gang initiation/Photo courtesy of The Lakewood Scoop

18-year-old Rafael Laurano-Flores of Lakewood was arrested for allegedly trying to knock down the victim and faces multiple charges.

“The fact that it was an Orthodox Jewish woman in this instance offends me personally as an Orthodox Jew, but it in no way minimizes a bias crime against any person of any segment of our society,” Langert said.

Any type of hate crime is something that everybody should be disgusted with Langert noted, “All descent human beings, all people with a moral compass do understand that a bias crime against anybody is just not acceptable.” He added, “and it doesn’t matter if you’re a teenager and you don’t know better, because you should know better.”

Langert said gangs are not a new thing in Lakewood, Ocean County, the state and world. He reinforced his confidence in the Township Police Department in handling such crimes and in keeping residents and citizens safe.

He also commended Lakewood’s Civilian Safety Watch for identifying the suspect’s vehicle Tuesday and alerting police, and police for making an arrest.

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