Middletown Police Arrest Suspect in Connection with Vandalism of Houses of Worship
Middletown Chief of Police R. Craig Weber announced an arrest in connection to a series of incidents of vandalism to a number of houses of worship within the township.
Natalee A. Hamilton, 34, of Middletown, was arrested and charged with four counts of Criminal Mischief, three counts of Aggravated Assault on a Law Enforcement Officer, and one count of Resisting Arrest.
“This series of crimes committed against houses of worship is deeply disturbing, especially as it occurred during the pandemic when so many people have relied upon their faith for comfort and support in these very difficult times.” Chief Weber said.
The locations victimized include Westminster Presbyterian Church, New Monmouth Baptist Church and Kingdom Hall of Jehovah’s Witnesses. In each case of vandalism, the suspect smashed out the building windows with rocks.
The vandalism first occurred at Westminster Presbyterian Church on June 1st. New Monmouth Baptist was vandalized on July 14th. All three houses of worship were attacked on July 19th. On Sunday, July 26th, Westminster Presbyterian church was victimized a third time.
The initial incidents occurred during overnight hours. However, the July 26th incident at Westminster Presbyterian Church happened during broad daylight, occurring at approximately 11:05 a.m., while parishioners were still present at the church.
The matter is being treated as a possible bias crime and is still under investigation by Detective First Class Darrin Simon.
Any additional organization that may have been the victim of vandalism or anyone with information relating to this investigation is asked to call the Middletown Police Detective Bureau at (732) 615-2120.