Trinity Episcopal Church 'bias incident' under investigation: Prosecutor

Trinity Episcopal Church in Asbury Park was hosting an anti-racism event Friday night when a possible "bias-motivated incident" took place between 9 p.m. and 10:30 p.m., according to the Monmouth County Prosecutor's Office.

The New Jersey Office of the Attorney General said Sunday it was investigating as an "attack on members of a church in Monmouth County."

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"At this time, there are no known or confirmed resultant injuries to any civilians," according to a news release from Monmouth County Prosecutor Raymond S. Santiago.

Trinity Episcopal Church in Asbury Park.
Trinity Episcopal Church in Asbury Park.

Prosecutor's spokesman Chris Swendeman declined to describe what took place at the church, saying: "a bias-motivated incident is all we can say about the allegation at this time."

Attorney General Matthew J. Platkin said he was investigating the incident, as well as another attack on a house of worship in northern New Jersey. In Bloomfield, Essex County, police are searching for a man who wore a ski mask and threw a Molotov cocktail at the door of Temple Ner Tamid on Sunday morning.

"We are cognizant of the fact that these attacks have occurred while violence continues to erupt in Israel, and while our own nation reckons with violence at home," the attorney general said in a statement on Sunday. "I want to reassure all New Jerseyans — especially our friends and neighbors of the Black community and the Jewish faith — that law enforcement continues to take the appropriate steps to increase our presence around sensitive places so that everyone in our state can worship, love, and live without fear of violence or threat."

Platkin said state, federal and local law enforcement authorities were investigating both incidents.

In response to the attacks, Gov. Phil Murphy said Sunday in a post on Twitter: "Let me be clear: there is no place for violence or hate in New Jersey and I strongly condemn these acts."

Anyone with information on the Trinity Episcopal Church incident is asked to contact Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Detective Brian Hammarstrom at 800-533-7443 or Asbury Park Police Detective Anthony Troublefield at 732-774-1300.

The New Jersey Department of Homeland Security urged members of the public and faith-based communities to remain vigilant and report any suspicious activity to local police or the New Jersey Counterterrorism Watch Desk at 866-4-SAFE-NJ (866-472-3365) or

Amanda Oglesby is an Ocean County native who covers Brick, Barnegat and Lacey townships as well as the environment. She has worked for the Press for more than a decade. Reach her at @OglesbyAPP, or 732-557-5701.

This article originally appeared on Asbury Park Press: Asbury's Trinity Episcopal Church 'bias incident' under investigation