🚨 A grenade was found near a Lakewood synagogue Sunday

🚨 The state police bomb squad secured the suspicious device

🚨 An active investigation is ongoing

LAKEWOOD — Authorities are investigating who strapped a grenade to a utility pole across the street from a synagogue in Ocean County.

The grenade was found on a pole at the corner of 4th Ave and Forest Ave around 7:45 a.m. Sunday morning, Ocean County Prosecutor Bradley Billhimer said.

Lakewood police officers first responded to the area, which is located just across the street from the Satmar Shul synagogue, for a report of a suspicious device.

Once they saw the grenade strapped to the pole, the New Jersey State Police Bomb Disposal Unit was called to the scene. The bomb squad successfully secured the device.

The utility pole that had a grenade strapped to it near a Lakewood synagogue 11/19/23 (Courtesy The Lakewood Scoop)
The utility pole that had a grenade strapped to it near a Lakewood synagogue 11/19/23 (Courtesy The Lakewood Scoop)

Fortunately, the grenade was never able to explode.

“The device was found to be inert and nonexplosive. There is no danger to the public and this remains an active and ongoing investigation,” Billhimer said.

More than two-thirds of Lakewood's population are Orthodox Jews, the Philadelphia Inquirer reported. The shore town was New Jersey's second-fastest growing city last decade thanks to its rapidly expanding Jewish population, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

"At a time when communities are already experiencing a rise in hate, a grenade outside of a synagogue stokes fear in Lakewood, NJ, a hub of American Jewish religious life. We urge law enforcement to thoroughly investigate this threat, and as a community, we will stay vigilant but we must not be intimidated," the Anti-Defamation League office for New York and New Jersey said in a statement on social media.

Investigators are looking for information from the public as they continue to look into who is responsible for the incident. Anyone with information is asked to contact Sgt. David Petracca with the Ocean County Prosecutor's Office at 732-929-2027, ext. 2186.


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