OC Prosecutor, FBI investigating threat against Brick Mayor
The Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office and Brick Police are actively investigating a threat against Township Mayor John Ducey made via the social media platform Twitter on Thursday.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation is assisting in the investigation.
Details regarding the nature of the threat and what it entails have not entirely been disclosed.
Brick Police Chief James Riccio tells WOBM News that the threat was "made on Twitter which threatened the Mayor and revealed his home address."
As a precautionary measure Brick Police have added a presence around Mayor Ducey.
"We have put security measures in place at his home and business," Chief Riccio tells WOBM News. "I would rather not elaborate as to what they are exactly."
Ocean County Prosecutor Bradley Billhimer said that “this is an ongoing investigation.”
Mayor John Ducey became the subject of a Twitter firestorm this week after engaging in a social media exchange with several users, some of whom are accusing him of antisemitism after he replied to a Twitter user who complained about Jewish people in township parks on the social media platform this week.
This all started when the now-deleted user @simms10471 tagged the mayor asking "can we please do something about our parks and beaches. They are being invaded by the hasidic and orthodox jews and being ruined. Our tax paying residents are being forced out while politicians sit and do nothing."
Ducey responded to the tweet by stating that, "Our parks security has started already. Just call police with any problems and they will send them out."
Yashar Ali, a journalist for the Huffington Post, then tweeted a screenshot of the exchange offering his analysis of the situation that Ducey, "makes no mention of the tweeters anti-Semitic tone."
The account for the Jewish Voice called Ducey an "antisemite" for telling "a likely constituent that because Orthodox Jews live in the neighborhood and use public parks and beaches, that they should 'call police' and they will 'send them out' for being Jewish.
"Sick. Resign now!"
Ducey, who initially was floored by the outrage over the tweet, began responding to the criticism.
"C’mon that’s not fair," Ducey said in response to the Jewish Voice tweet. "The tweet was if there are problems call the police and they will send the parks security out. You are making a huge stretch to create controversy."
Ducey continued to tweet trying to diffuse an intense twitter battle.
Mayor Ducey tried to navigate the Twitter storm by answering additional users in an effort to clarify his statement and dispute claims of antisemitism.
Another Twitter user became irate at Ducey not issuing a response sooner than he did.
For some it wasn't about what was said but how the Brick Mayor handled the controversial series of tweets.
Anyone with information on the threat against Mayor John Ducey should contact the Ocean County Prosecutors Office or Brick Township Police.
Previous reporting by Sergio Bichao was used in this report.
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