A warrant dated Monday and other indictment documents show that at least two neighbors called police to report 45-year-old Edward C. Mathews on Friday for harassing them in a Mount Laurel neighborhood.
A black woman in the neighborhood called police on Friday saying Mathews was stalking her, approaching her front door and yelling racial slurs, according to prosecutors. He had previously told police that he suspected Mathews of “criminal damage” in connection with his car.
The doorbell camera captures Mathews leading his dogs into the front yard, repeating a racial slur and thrusting his hips in a vulgar manner after police responded and spoke to him, prosecutors said.
Police then received a second call from a nearby address and found Mathews using racial slurs to address four people, what appears to be the video-captured interaction that attracted widespread attention online.
That confrontation occurred after Mathews knocked on a neighbor’s door demanding to see her husband, who is Black, and tried to enter their home, prosecutors said. The woman, who is white, called the police and another neighbor came over to find Mathews on the catwalk.
A message was left at the public defender’s office seeking comment on Mathews’ behalf.
Mathews was initially charged with harassment and partial intimidation, but was not arrested. On Monday, the protesters gathered outside his home for many hours. He apologized in a video filmed by a protester and posted online.
Police arrested Mathews Monday night and said he was in jail on Tuesday and will be held until a hearing likely on Friday.
“It is difficult to overstate how vile and despicable this defendant’s conduct toward his neighbors was Friday night,” Burlington County Prosecutor Scott A. Coffina said in a statement Tuesday. “No one should have to deal with such hatred anywhere, but especially on their own doorstep.”
Police are investigating whether the protesters who threw objects at the officers and Mathews when they arrested him committed any crime, Coffina said.
Mount Laurel is located 30 kilometers (19 miles) east of Philadelphia.