Man painted swastikas on 14 homes and burned another house down, NJ officials say

A house mysteriously erupted in flames hours after swastikas were found spray-painted on nearby homes in a New Jersey neighborhood, officials said.

When authorities responded to the house fire at about 3:10 a.m. June 7, they learned a “suspicious” person was seen near the blaze in the Pine Lake Park community of Manchester Township, according to the state attorney general’s office.

The person appeared to be the same individual officials said painted swastikas on 14 homes and was recorded on local surveillance cameras, officials said.

The suspect was located shortly after and arrested, Attorney General Matthew J. Platkin and Ocean County Prosecutor Bradley D. Billhimer announced June 9.

Ron Carr, 34, of Manchester, is facing charges including first- and third-degree bias intimidation, second-degree aggravated arson, third-degree arson and fourth-degree criminal mischief, according to a June 9 news release. He’s facing 36 counts total.

He’s accused of vandalizing homes and setting an additional house on fire to target Jewish community members, officials said.

“This crime spree and the antisemitism that it expressed caused pain, destruction, shock and fear among the residents of Manchester Township,” Platkin said in the news release. “No community in the State of New Jersey should feel vulnerable or anxious in the face of acts of intolerance.”

While no one was hurt in the fire, three other homes were scorched by flames, which spread to the nearby woods, according to the release.

Officials said Carr also vandalized neighborhood fences with Nazi symbolism. Potential motives weren’t specified.

“I am thankful no one was injured in these senseless acts of bigotry and hate,” Billhimer said in the release.

Manchester Township is about 75 miles south of Newark.

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