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Man brandishes machete near New Jersey shul, no evidence Jews were target

Nevertheless, “his menacing behavior caused fear of imminent injury or harm,” according to a captain in the Lakewood Police Department.

Max Sanchez, 22, of Lakewood, N.J., allegedly approached five people with a machete on March 13, 2023. Source: Twitter/StandWithUs.
Max Sanchez, 22, of Lakewood, N.J., allegedly approached five people with a machete on March 13, 2023. Source: Twitter/StandWithUs.

Police in Lakewood, N.J., arrested a man on Monday night after he brandished a large knife at a group walking near a synagogue.

Max Sanchez, 22, of Lakewood allegedly approached five people with a machete at about 11:30 p.m., stated Capt. Gregory Staffordsmith at the Lakewood Police Department.

“Although no specific threats were made to any of the victims, his menacing behavior caused fear of imminent injury or harm to each of them,” he said.

Police located Sanchez quickly and recovered the weapon.

The Lakewood Scoop, a blog, reported that the incident happened in front of a Satmar shul. But Staffordsmith said there is no indication that Sanchez allegedly chose to “menace the victims based on their religious beliefs,” despite the area being one “where a large portion of Orthodox Jewish families reside.”

Sanchez faces “numerous charges for assault and possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose,” said the captain. “This investigation is still active. Investigators are looking into several unrelated cases in which Sanchez may have some involvement.”

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