EVESHAM >> On March 28, Evesham Police responded to the Black Run Preserve (Bortons/Kettle Run) for a bias crime.
During the initial investigation, it was determined that an unknown suspect had altered the wording of a Black Run Preserve sign to reflect an offensive and biased message. The suspect was no longer on scene and the case was assigned to the Evesham Police Investigative Bureau for follow-up.
Detectives were able to determine a suspicious vehicle was seen in the area of the offense and upon responding to the registered owner’s address, evidence associated with the crime was observed in plain view inside the vehicle.
Upon interviewing the registered owner, a suspect was identified as Maxwell Arnal, 19, of Cherry Hill. Detectives interviewed Arnal at police headquarters and he admitted to being responsible for the crime.
On March 30, the Evesham Police Department arrested Arnal, 19 for 4th Degree Bias Intimidation and Harassment (Disorderly Persons). Arnal was released on his own recognizance and has a mandatory court appearance.
Evesham Township Police Chief Christopher Chew stated, “Any form of bias intimidation or hate towards any member of our community is unacceptable and will not be tolerated. I want to reassure our residents that this crime was thoroughly investigated and that we value our close working relationship with the Burlington County Prosecutor’s Office in ensuring that those who commit these heinous acts will be held accountable for their actions.”
Burlington County Prosecutor Scott Coffina said, “I commend the Evesham Township Police Department for aggressively investigating this act of vandalism conveying a despicable racist message. The people of Evesham and throughout Burlington County will not be intimidated by acts of hate. All of our police departments stand ready to investigate suspected bias incidents, and we assure the public that bias crimes will be charged and prosecuted.”
"Evesham Township is taking this time to share a message that residents and other followers of our town will know very well - Evesham Township has zero tolerance for racism, bigotry or any other forms of hatred," said Mayor Jaclyn Veasy. "Such deplorable displays do nothing but expose the narrow-mindedness and ignorance that continues to poison minds. As always, our community remains united against any such abhorrent actions, and we remain committed to a safe and welcoming township for all.”