LAKEWOOD-On March 26, 2020, at approximately 2100 hours the Lakewood Police was notified of a “Bias Terroristic Threat” made towards the Jewish community in Lakewood via a Facebook post by a neighboring resident, according to the Lakewood Police Department.
After further investigation lead by Detectives Patrick Kearns, Tyler Distefano and Dsgt. Nate Reyes confirmed that the author of the posts was 43-year-old Anthony Lodespoto of Howell Township.
“According to his post, he made specific threats to cause harm to members of the Jewish Community for not complying with the orders set forth by Governor Murphy’s Office,” the department said. “Detectives located Lodespoto at his Howell home around 3:45pm this afternoon. He was taken into custody without incident. ”
Lodespoto was charged with 2nd degree Terroristic Threats and will be transported to the Ocean County Jail.
Police did not initially share the contents of the post or in which page the post was made, but his mother, Libby Prfeta-Lodespota claims her son Anthony did not threaten anyone but it was instead of friend of her son.
“We should drive around with a bullhorn and tell the[sic] to stay home,” she posted.
Later, the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office published Lodespoto’s comments.
“On March 27, 2020, Detectives were informed by members of the New Jersey State Police that Lodespoto sent a similar message to the Facebook account of New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy. The threats largely consisted of Lodespoto threatening to travel to Lakewood with the purpose of assaulting members of the Jewish community with a baseball bat,” Ocean County Prosecutor Bradley Billhimer said.