HOBOKEN — A man walking through City Hall threw a bag into Mayor Ravi S. Bhalla's office, the latest incident in a two month term as the nation's first Sikh mayor said he and his family have received death threats since taking office.

The man got into Hoboken City Hall on Thursday night after he told security officers he needed to use the bathroom, according to a statement from the mayor's office.

Deputy Chief of Staff Jason Freeman, the only person in the office at the time, made eye contact with the man as he threw a bag with an object into Bhalla's office as he ran off. Bhalla was on his way back to his office after a community meeting, according to the statement.

“This incident, along with death threats to me and my family, is an unfortunate reminder that we need to take security seriously,” Bhalla said in a statement. He said the FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force has evaluated City Hall and is working on way to improve security in the building.

Police are investigating the incident and did not disclose what the object was.

“We take incidents like these incredibly seriously and will continue working to ensure the security of the mayor and everyone who visits City Hall,” Hoboken Police Chief Kenneth Ferrante said.

Just a few days before November's election Bhalla was targeted with a flyer left on windshields across the city that included a picture of the turban-wearing Sikh councilman with the large, red words “Don’t let TERRORISM take over our town!” The flyer says it was paid for by Councilman Mike DeFusco, another contender in the race, but DeFusco said his campaign was not involved.

Not long after he was elected rumors spread online that Bhalla was planning to cancel the city's Christmas celebrations. That was debunked and called "racist garbage" by the city's communications manager.


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