New Jersey man caught on racist tirade now faces stalking, drug charges

MOUNT LAUREL, New Jersey (WPVI) -- The man at the center of a community protest in Mount Laurel, New Jersey - sparked by his racist rant toward a neighbor that was caught on video - is now facing additional charges.

Edward Mathews, 45, was charged Thursday with damaging the property of his neighbors, stalking, narcotics violations and other crimes.

"These new charges underscore the importance of our community members coming forward with any information they have about criminal activity, whether about this case or any other incident," Chief Riedener said. "Because someone recorded Mathews' conduct on Friday night, we had the evidence to bring the previous charges, and the opportunity to gather the evidence that led to these additional charges, including for damage we allege he recently caused to his neighbors' vehicles."

He is currently being held at the Burlington County Jail in Mount Holly, where he was placed on Monday after being taken into custody at his home.



In a now-viral video, Mathews is heard calling neighbors racial slurs.

In an interview with Action News shortly before he was taken into custody on Monday, Mathews said he regretted his words and worked to explain his actions.

RELATED: New Jersey man caught on racist tirade says he was drunk at the time

"I cannot apologize enough. I was drunk, I was out of line, I let my anger get the best of me," Mathews said.

Mathews was previously charged with six offenses related to the viral video as well as a separate incident with another female neighbor. In that one, he's accused of being caught on video using slurs and performing a "lewd motion while laughing."

In total, Mathews was charged with three hate crimes, two charges for harassment, and one charge for trespassing.

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TIRADE CAUGHT ON VIDEO

Ring camera video shows the moments before the viral video. It shows Mathews knocking on the door of his neighbors - an interracial senior citizen couple - demanding the husband come out and speak with him.

"I have every right to be here. Get your husband," Mathews is heard saying.

The situation escalated when another neighbor interceded on that couple's behalf. Most of the viral Facebook video, recorded back on Friday, is too graphic to play.

"This is not Africa, or (inaudible) or wherever the (expletive) you were," Mathews is heard to say.

The other man in the video replied, "I was born in America, and I don't give an (expletive) about you."

During his interview with Action News, Mathews asked for forgiveness.

"There is nothing I'm going to be able to say that's going to justify me using the words that I used," he said. "Whatever I have to do to make it up to the community - and the world at this point, seeing how big it is - understand that I made a mistake, allow me the ability to move forward, just like we all deserve," said Mathews.

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Tensions and tempers flared Monday along Gramercy Way in Mount Laurel, New Jersey.



The dispute, according to neighbors, stemmed from months of issues with the development's HOA board.

Before the viral video ends Mathews gave out his address, seemingly encouraging protesters, who arrived in force on Monday.

A warrant dated Monday and other charging documents show at least two neighbors called police to report Mathews on Friday.
A Black woman in the neighborhood called police on Friday 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.

Police then received a second call from a nearby address and found Mathews using racial slurs to address four people, which appears to be the interaction caught on video that drew widespread attention online.



The Associated Press contributed to this report
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