New charges against white Mount Laurel man in viral video of racist rant

A Mount Laurel police officer sits in his car on Gramercy Way, opposite the home of Edward Cagney Mathews

A Mount Laurel police officer sits in his car on Gramercy Way, opposite the home of Edward Cagney Mathews, who was arrested for bias crimes against his neighbors. (Emma Lee/WHYY)

The Burlington County Prosecutor’s Office has announced new charges against Edward Mathews, the white man whose racist tirade against a Black neighbor went viral and brought protesters to his doorstep Monday.

In addition to harassment and bias crime charges, he now faces two counts of criminal mischief, possession of a weapon, possession of a controlled dangerous substance, possession of a controlled dangerous substance with intent to distribute, stalking, two counts of “certain persons not to have weapons and possession of drug paraphernalia.

Because of the newly added charges, Mathews’ detention hearing, originally scheduled for Friday, has been postponed until Tuesday.

They were the result of a search warrant executed on his condo Tuesday night by Mount Laurel police after the department applied for an extreme risk protection order against Mathews. Prosecutors said the order was issued because Mathews had allegedly used a BB gun to damage vehicles belonging to a woman and her daughter.

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During the search of Mathews’ home, officers seized a slingshot and multiple ball bearings that matched the projectiles used to cause $2,350 in damage to the vehicles. Police also seized hallucinogenic drugs (mushrooms), along with packing materials.

Other residents at Essex Place Condominiums told WHYY News on Tuesday that Mathews had long disturbed an otherwise peaceful, friendly neighborhood and until Monday evening, complaints to the Mount Laurel Police went nowhere as they said they did not have enough evidence to pursue charges against him.

The prosecutor’s office said it was able to arrest him after reviewing an additional video of last Friday’s confrontation which showed that Mathews bumped one of the victims with his chest and appeared to spit in his face.

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The office says it will undertake an independent review of all incidents involving Mathews reported to Mount Laurel police, as well as the department’s response to the incident in the video.

Prosecutors ask anyone with information and/or evidence of criminal conduct to contact us at tips@co.burlington.nj.us, or 609-265-5035.

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