DEAL BOROUGH, NJ (Monmouth County) – A Morris County man has been charged with a bias crime as the result of threatening comments he allegedly made at a Deal Borough synagogue late last week, Acting Monmouth County Prosecutor Lori Linskey announced Monday.
Nicholas Skirvin, 44, of Denville Township was charged with second-degree bias intimidation, third-degree making terroristic threats, and harassment, Linskey said.
On Friday, July 15, at around 1:00 p.m., police responded to the Ohel Yaacob Congregation at the corner of Lawrence Avenue and Ocean Avenue North on a report of an unknown person recording himself with a cell phone while making obscene gestures and screaming profanity-laced ethnic and homophobic slurs and threats at synagogue congregants, Linskey said.
A fast-moving investigation resulted in Skirvin being identified as a suspect in the case, and he was arrested by Deal police on an Asbury Park beach later that afternoon, Linksey said.
Skirvin was then transported to the Monmouth County Correctional Institution (MCCI) pending a detention hearing that is now tentatively scheduled to take place on Monday, July 25, before Monmouth County Superior Court Judge Paul Escandon, Linskey said.
The State is filing a motion to keep Skirvin detained pending the outcome of the case, Linskey said.
“The hate-filled rhetoric heard last Friday in what is typically a peaceful neighborhood with a tight-knit Jewish community wasn’t just abhorrent and disturbing – it was criminal,” Linskey said. “The charges being announced today should send a clear message that we take such conduct with the utmost seriousness. There is no place for hate in Monmouth County – especially when it is the motive behind a crime.”
The incident has also been reported to the New Jersey Office of the Attorney General, which tracks bias incidents and crimes occurring statewide, Linksey said.
If convicted of the second-degree offense, Skirvin would face a term of up to 10 years in state prison.