Toms River, NJ blue line painter put suspicious device in road, cops say
TOMS RIVER — A name familiar to Ocean County law enforcement is in trouble again, this time for allegedly causing false public alarm by placing a makeshift device in the middle of a township intersection, prompting a response from local, county, and state authorities.
Along with false public alarm, David Giordano, 36, of Toms River was charged with possession of alprazolam, methamphetamine, and drug paraphernalia following his arrest Monday, according to a release from the Ocean County Prosecutor's Office.
Giordano's latest arrest followed a motor vehicle accident on the Garden State Parkway near Bloomfield earlier Monday for which Giordano had to be briefly hospitalized, the OCPO said.
And it came two days after the Toms River Police Department was alerted to a suspicious item left in the area of Hooper Avenue and Washington Street, according to the release, a car battery with a power inverter attached, with a strand of blue LED Christmas lights attached to the inverter at one end and a bottle of Clorox bleach containing liquid at the other.
The portion of Hooper Avenue where the device was found is between the Ocean County Courthouse and the county Administration Building, which is in the vicinity of where county authorities said Giordano illegally painted a blue line in support of law enforcement last March.
Surrounding streets were temporarily shut down to traffic on Saturday until police, a hazardous materials team from Berkeley Township, Ocean County prosecutor's and sheriff's office units, and the New Jersey State Police Bomb Unit determined the device was not explosive in nature.
The incident was not the first time Giordano has been charged with creating a false public alarm, having been indicted on charges of that and terroristic threats last summer, connected to YouTube videos he was alleged to have made following his arrest in the blue line controversy earlier in 2021.
Giordano remains held at the Ocean County Jail on the false alarm and drug charges filed in Monday's arrest.
Patrick Lavery is New Jersey 101.5's afternoon news anchor. Follow him on Twitter @plavery1015 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.