Lakewood, NJ man with machete charged with menacing people near synagogue
🔴 Max Sanchez's 'meancing behavior' made a group feel unsafe and call 911
🔴 Police found Sanchez and took him to the Ocean County Jail
🔴 He may be involved with other similar incidents in Lakewood
LAKEWOOD — A township man holding a machete approached a group of people on a sidewalk late Monday night causing them to be fearful.
Police Capt. Greg Staffordsmith said 22-year-old Max Sanchez didn't make a specific threat but his "menacing behavior" caused the individuals to be concerned for their safety. They ran toward the Satmar Schul synagogue two blocks away to call 911. Sanchez was quickly located by responding officers and taken into custody. Staffordsmith said the machete was also recovered.
He faces numerous charges of assault and possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose and is being held at the Ocean County Jail.
Staffordsmith, however, said this did not appear to be a hate.
"Although last night's incident occurred in a neighborhood where a large portion of Orthodox Jewish families reside, there is nothing that indicates that Sanchez chose to menace the victims based on their religious beliefs," he said.
"Despite the Lakewood Police Department best efforts to provide excellent service, we strongly remind our citizens that if they See Something, Say Something," he added.
Involved with other incidents?
Police are investigating whether Sanchez may have been involved with several other similar incidents including an incident outside the Bais Medrash Torat Chesed Yeshiva on Monmouth Avenue on Jan. 5.
The Lakewood Scoop was first to report on this incident.