Three charged in Lakewood attacks

July 10, 2008 4:43:54 PM PDT
A gang of three men were charged in the attacks of two Orthodox Jewish men in Lakewood that frightened their tight-knit community. The suspects, all taken in custody, were linked to a Tuesday morning robbery on a 40-year-old man and a May 28 robbery outside a convenience store, according to police.

They are being charged with aggravated assault in both cases.

The suspects are black and the victims are Orthodox Jews. But it was not immediately clear if the attacks were being treated as bias crimes.

In the Tuesday attack, the man was stabbed multiple times on Third Street and Forest Avenue about 1 a.m.

Police say the motive for the attack was robbery.

He was taken to Jersey Shore University Medical Center in Neptune in stable condition.

In the other attack, on May 28, an Orthodox Jewish man was attacked outside a local convenience store.

The alleged suspects smashed the window of his car with a baseball bat and roughed him up during the robbery.

The attacks sparked fear among members of the Lakewood's Orthodox Jewish community, which make up about 50,000 of the township's 85,000 residents.