A New Jersey man was sentenced to eight years in prison after being caught on camera “harassing and using racial slurs against several of his neighbors,” according to a press release from the Burlington County Prosecutor’s Office.
Edward C. Mathews was sentenced Friday after a police investigation that began in 2021 revealed “a pattern of abuse from Mathews against his neighbors that included leaving a threatening note on one of their vehicles,” the prosecutor’s office said.
Police began the investigation into the 47-year-old after law enforcement found him “using racial slurs while engaged in a verbal altercation with four residents,” the release said.
Mathews was captured on a neighbor’s doorbell camera in July 2021 thrusting his hips in a lewd motion while laughing and looking at the camera. He is also heard saying “f***ng monkey.”
The neighbor is a Black woman who is on the homeowner’s association board (HOA) and told police Mathews called her racial slurs over the past few months, according to an affidavit.
The affidavit states Mathew’s actions were an attempt to intimidate her into moving out of the neighborhood.
Mathews pleaded guilty in October to four counts of bias intimidation, as well as drug offense charges after psilocin mushrooms, a type of hallucinogenic mushroom, were found inside his home, according to the prosecutor’s office press release.
Mathews begged for leniency during his sentencing hearing, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer. He said he accepted responsibility and apologized to the victims for “my insensitive and disrespectful words in the past,” the Inquirer reported.
He must spend at least four years in prison before he is eligible for parole, the judge ruled, according to Joel Bewley, public information officer for the Burlington County Prosecutors office.
“Our office is committed to combatting bias crimes and sending a clear message that such actions will not be tolerated in our community,” Burlington County Prosecutor LaChia L. Bradshaw said in a statement. “Nobody should have to endure what these victims experienced.”
CNN’s Zenebou Sylla contributed to this report.
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