Middletown woman accused of smashing windows of 3 churches
MIDDLETOWN — A township woman is accused of smashing rocks through windows at three houses of worship, one of them repeatedly, within the span of a month.
Natalee A. Hamilton, 34, was charged with four counts of criminal mischief, according to township police, who said Hamilton targeted the Westminster Presbyterian Church, New Monmouth Baptist Church and Kingdom Hall of Jehovah’s Witnesses in June and July.
In each case of vandalism, building windows were broken with rocks during overnight hours, although the final incident happened in broad daylight on a Sunday while church goers were still inside, police said.
The first incident was June 1 at Westminster Presbyterian church at 94 Tindall Road. That was followed by New Monmouth Baptist church, at 4 Cherry Tree Farm Road, being vandalized July 14, according to police.
Five days later, both churches along with Kingdom Hall of Jehovah’s Witnesses at 743 Leonardville Road were targeted, authorities said.
Westminster Presbyterian church was targeted a third time on July 26, around 11 a.m. while parishioners were there, police said.
Police said the matter was being treated as a possible bias crime. Anyone with information can call Middletown Police Detective Bureau at 732-615-2120.
Mayor Tony Perry said in a statement on Twitter, "Thankful for the swift efforts of the Middletown PD locating and arresting this individual after numerous attacks on several houses of worship. I applaud the work of Chief Weber and Det. Simon for bringing this case to a close and continuing to ensure the safety of our community."
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