Toms River, NJ – A Jewish family visiting the Toms River branch of the Ocean County Library found itself the target of foul invective and Holocaust denial on Friday. Police identified the alleged perpetrator as mentally disturbed.
When the family, including three small children, visited the library, a man sitting on a bench near the entrance accosted an 8-year-old visibly Jewish boy. “Jews are vile and disgusting people,” he snarled, according to the boy’s father.
As the family was leaving (the library was closed), the father asked the man if he had a “problem with Jews.” The man retorted that he was protected by his right of free speech; and proceeded to loudly claim several times that the Holocaust was a Jewish hoax.
The father pointed out that it was clearly unacceptable for him to start up with small children, regardless of his personal opinions. “This led to more pronouncements about his free speech and opinions,” the father told LNN.
The man challenged the family to call the police. “They won’t do anything,” he claimed. “I can say whatever I want.” The family did call police, who asked them to wait on the scene. An officer arrived and took statements for a police report, and a senior investigator later called to follow up.
Police said the man was known to them as suffering from mental challenges; and was under restraining order not to be present in certain parts of the township. Apparently, the library is not one of those places- but it may become so; after this incident.
After reviewing the onerous burden of proof and odds of success, the family decided not to press charges. Nevertheless, Toms River police stress the importance of filing police reports, even if no action will be taken. Each report affects general statistics and the community’s ability to lobby for policy changes.