The man filmed shouting racial slurs at a Black neighbor in Mount Laurel, New Jersey, this month before he was arrested in front of a cheering crowd after footage of the altercation went viral on social media is facing additional charges.
Security in the Essex Place community where 45-year-old Edward Cagney Mathews lives is also being beefed up in preparation for his return.
The Essex Place Community HOA told TMZ their priority is to keep everyone safe upon Mathews’ return after his Tuesday bond hearing. A police presence is set to be scheduled 24/7 on his block and outside his home, after hundreds of protesters gathered outside his home on July 5.
On July 2, Mathews was filmed shouting epithets as he stood within a couple of feet of young Black man standing on a porch in front of a home. He used the N-word and made other racist remarks, the bystander video shows. Ring camera footage shows that the encounter began when Mathews went to confront the couple living in the home, allegedly over issues regarding conflicts relating to the HOA board. The man seen arguing with Mathews in the video, identified as Etchu Tanyoh Brandon Tambe, currently serves in the Air Force and interceded on the couple’s behalf.
After Mathews announced his address in the video, hundreds of protesters showed up outside of his home, and he was led out of his residence in handcuffs by Mr. Laurel police as the crowd cheered. He was arrested on assault and bias intimidation charges.
On Thursday, Mathews was hit with additional charges, including weapons, stalking and drug charges. During an investigation, authorities discovered a slingshot and ball bearings that matched those used to damage two vehicles belonging to a neighbor, as well as psilocybin mushrooms, according to the prosecutor.
“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,” said Chief Stephen Riedener. “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.”
The department has faced criticism for not taking action against Mathews sooner despite complaints. Ridenener said his team was limited by the law, “As disgusting and reprehensible as his language was that necessarily didn’t raise to the level of an arrest in New Jersey under biased intimidation.”
After the incident, other neighbors spoke out and revealed they had also been victimized by Mathews. Some residents claimed Mathews had a history of slashing the tires of his Black neighbors as a part of a bid to get Black home owners association members removed from the board and get himself elected.
Patricia Lanier told The Daily Mail last week that Mathews, whom she’d never spoken to, hammered nails into two of her tires.
“Everybody knew who did it, but the police said unless we saw him they could do nothing about it,” she said.
Mount Laurel Township Mayor Stephe Steglik and State Assemblywoman Carol Murphy also reveled that they had received threatening phone calls and emails from Mathews.
Murphy said that when she began planning a legislative hearing about homeowners’ associations last year, Mathews got frustrated when the hearing was postponed and his emails escalated. He told her that he knew where she lived, Murphy revealed, which prompted her to install a $2,000 security alarm.
Prosecutors are asking the state Superior Court to keep Mathews incarcerated while his charges are pending.