NJ man, who wants to be governor, charged with driving into crowd at Washington Monument
A Gloucester County man who posted a rambling online manifesto announcing his campaign for governor of New Jersey has been charged with driving his car at a crowd of people at the Washington Monument.
U.S. Park Police said they arrested Jack Joseph Dessin, 38, on charges of destruction of government property and assault with a deadly weapon.
The Washington Post reported that the crash happened early Sunday evening as people were gathering on the monument's lawn to watch the Fourth of July fireworks. No injuries were reported.
Video posted by witness Arsen Hoxha on Twitter show the blue Ford Explorer resting against a short concrete embankment near the monument.
Photos posted on Twitter by WUSA 9 reporter Lorenzo Hall show the SUV adorned with a American flag and advertisements for Dessin's website, where he self-publishes a book that appears to be a work of science fiction.
Online records show Dessin has been a longtime resident of Gloucester County with ties to West Deptford, Woodbury and Sewell.
Dessin's website is difficult to parse with its heavy use of emoji icons, non-standard fonts and often incoherent prose.
The website also includes his campaign platform for governor.
“With the literal decay of our laws in the last few months, I believe it is time for New Jersey to go in an entirely 'NEW RADICAL' direction leaving many of our old laws in our past within the VERY FIRST 100 DAYS!!!” it says.
Among many campaign issues, Dessin calls on New Jersey to "end the war on guns" and become an "open carry sanctuary state."
He also wants the government to provide every citizen with their own free website, pardon all non-violent offenders, have schools create separate leagues for transgender students, and delete race ID questions from all government documents.
Dessin, however, never made it onto November's ballot.
New Jersey 101.5 did not know Monday whether Dessin has an attorney who could speak on his behalf.
Sergio Bichao is the digital managing editor of New Jersey 101.5. Send him news tips: Call 609-775-9793 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.