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N.J. man caught on video calling neighbors racist slurs faces additional charges

Burlington County Prosecutor Scott Coffina announced weapons, stalking and drug charges against Edward C. Mathews.
Image: Police escort Edward Cagney Mathews through a crowd of people who had gathered outside his Mount Laurel, N.J., home
Police escort Edward Cagney Mathews through a crowd of people who had gathered outside his Mount Laurel, N.J., home, Monday, July 5, 2021.Tom Gralish / AP
/ Source: Associated Press

MOUNT LAUREL, N.J.— A white man captured on video in New Jersey calling his Black neighbors racist slurs and arrested on harassment charges now faces weapons, stalking and drug charges, prosecutors said Thursday.

Burlington County Prosecutor Scott Coffina announced the additional charges against Edward C. Mathews of Mount Laurel in a statement.

In addition to harassment and trespass charges, Mathews now faces two counts of criminal mischief and charges of possession of a weapon — a slingshot — for an unlawful purpose, possession and intent to distribute a controlled, dangerous substance, stalking, unlawful possession of a weapon and drug paraphernalia charges.

The new charges stemmed in part from a search of Mathews residence.

Mathews was arrested Monday after video footage posted online showed him using racist epithets against his Black neighbors.

Attempts to reach an attorney for Mathews have not been successful. In a video filmed by protesters who came to his house over the weekend he apologized.

According to authorities, the confrontation captured on video happened after Mathews knocked on the door of a neighbor’s house demanding to see the husband, who is Black. His wife, who is white, called police. Another neighbor, who is also Black and is currently serving in the Air Force, met Mathews on the stoop and walkway to the neighbors’ house in an attempt to help his friends. Video shows Mathews calling the Black neighbors racist names.

That confrontation was the second call police got Friday about Mathews, according to the documents.

A Black woman in the neighborhood called police earlier saying Mathews was harassing her, approaching her front door and shouting racial slurs, according to prosecutors. She had previously told police she suspected Mathews of “criminal mischief” involving her car.

A doorbell camera captures Mathews bringing his dogs to her front yard, repeating a racial slur and thrusting his hips in a vulgar way after police responded and talked to him, prosecutors said.

On Thursday, Coffina said that investigators determined that one of the victims of harassment believed Mathews had used a BB on her car, and authorities recovered a slingshot and ball bearings that matched those used to damage two vehicles belonging to a neighbor.

Officials also recovered psilocybin mushrooms, according to the prosecutor.

Mathews is currently in Burlington County Jail, Coffina said. Prosecutors are asking the state Superior Court to keep him incarcerated while his charges are pending.

A hearing is tentatively scheduled for next week.