SOUTH BRUNSWICK — A man accused of telling an 11-year-old Indian boy at a school playground to “move your a** out of this country" denies making any such statement.

Rachel Zelini, the boy's mother, told South Brunswick Patch that she posted on the South Brunswick Community Facebook page about Tuesday's incident at the Cambridge Elementary School. School was closed on Tuesday for Rosh Hashanah.

According to Jim Sues, president of the New Jersey chapter of the Council on American Islamic Relations, who brought attention to the incident in a statement released on Friday afternoon, Zelini said the man told her son: “Move your a** out of this country, you are an (expletive) Indian come to our country to steal our jobs and money.”

Zelini told Patch that her son rode his bike to the park in the Kendall Park section to meet friends and was quiet when he returned home about 15 minutes later. The boy told his teenage sister what had happened, who then told her mother, Zelini told Patch.

The boy told the man, "This is my country, sir," Zelini told Patch.

According to U.S. Census 2018 estimates, 36% of the township's population of 43,417 is Asian.

Sues said Friday that he welcomed an investigation by South Brunswick police to "identify the perpetrator of this apparent hate crime.”

“Hateful, and bigoted speech such as was witnessed in this case should never be tolerated, and the laws that protect our citizens from these offenses should be strictly enforced," Sues said.

Police said in a statement that by utilizing the school's surveillance video they were able to identify the man and his family.

"The husband explained to detectives that he was there with his wife and three children. He denied making any statements to the juvenile. The wife indicated that she is also an immigrant and would never allow someone to speak to a child that way," South Brunswick police said Saturday.

Chief Raymond Hayducka said that within 48 hours of the initial report, detectives interviewed six people, tracked down the video and spoke with the accused.

“We take all cases involving potential bias seriously," Hayducka said.

Last year, the township had seven reported bias incidents, one of the highest numbers in the state.

Sues on Saturday said more evidence would be needed to settle the conflicting accounts.


NOW READ: 49 towns in NJ with the most reported hate crimes


Contact reporter Dan Alexander at Dan.Alexander@townsquaremedia.com or via Twitter @DanAlexanderNJ

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