Mount Laurel, New Jersey — A white man seen on a video pushing a Black neighbor with his chest and using racist slurs to address the neighbor and others Friday has been arrested.
Edward C. Mathews, 45, was arrested Monday evening after hundreds of protesters gathered outside his Mount Laurel townhome for several hours, CBS Philly reports. Things got tense as Mathews was led out by police.
“Now, what I did was not acceptable. It’s completely wrong,” Mathews is seen saying in another video taken by a protester on Monday before his arrest.
In the footage showing Friday’s confrontation, Mathews gives his address several times before finally walking away saying, “Come (expletive) see me.”
“This is not Africa,” Mathews can be heard saying in the video, according to CBS Philly. “This monkey over here and this monkey over here…”
In a statement posted online Monday morning, Mount Laurel police said Mathews was charged with harassment and biased intimidation but was issued a summons and wasn’t arrested.
The protesters were angry that Mathews was allowed to return home and were demanding that he be detained, CBS Philly explains.
On Monday evening, prosecutors told a news conference they were bringing new charges against Mathews based on additional video footage.
Police stood at Mathews’ home’s door Monday. When officers moved to arrest him at around 7:30 p.m., footage posted by a reporter shows protesters throwing objects and liquids toward officers and Mathews as they walk to a police car and then at the car as it drove away.
Police say they’re investigating other incidents involving Mathews. Many people in the area claim he’s been harassing neighbors outside his home for years, CBS Philly says.
“This is America, we all live here, we cannot put up with this,” Alyia Robinson remarked to the station.
Several years ago, her daughter Jazmyn lived in an apartment below Mathews in a nearby complex. When the recent video was shared online, Jazmyn decided to upload one she had taken down.
“(I was) literally in fear all the time living with my son, like, what am I supposed to do?” Jazmyn Robinson said.
Another neighbor told CBS Philly that at least 10 others have been continually harassed due to the color of their skin.
“He used a BB gun to shoot their windows out; he smeared dog feces all over their car,” one neighbor said.
“I totally understand why the protestors were here today. They had seen videos that weren’t available to us on Friday night that were even worse,” Burlington County prosecutor Scott Coffina said.
Once the new video was reviewed, new charges were added, including assault, and the decision was made to arrest Mathews.
The protests that had been peaceful all day got heated as police and SWAT units pulled Mathews from his home.
Two arrests were made after mace was allegedly tossed by a member of the crowd.
Mount Laurel is 19 miles east of Philadelphia.
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