GLEN ROCK, NJ – Two Fair Lawn juveniles have been charged with criminal mischief and bias intimidation after a Glen Rock Police investigation into what police are calling a "bias graffiti" incident on Rock Road.
Following a two-week investigation into the incident in which police describe the graffiti as "disparaging towards the LGBQT+ community," Glen Rock Detectives arrested a 17-year-old female and a 16-year-old male. According to the police, the investigation began on the morning of October 7 when the owner of the Nectar Cafe, located in the 175 Rock Road rear shopping complex, discovered the graffiti while opening the business for the day.
Police said the investigation determined "this was a random act and no specific individual, person, or business was targeted."
Glen Rock detectives took the two juveniles into custody just after 6 p.m. on October 20, while conducting a surveillance in the Rock Road Central Business District. Additional evidence was recovered during the arrest.
Both were charged with one count each of criminal mischief and bias intimidation. They were subsequently released to the custody of a parent or guardian.
This arrest comes just after NJ Attorney General Gurbir Grewal announced an inter-agency task force convened to address the alarming rate of bias incidents among New Jersey’s children and young adults, police said. The task force has issued a report recommending sweeping reforms to the state’s education system, tougher anti-bias laws, and a robust public engagement campaign, in order to counter the trend.
Chief Dean Ackermann states that these charges are merely accusations and that the defendants are presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.