Frum Yid Taken in as Massive Manhunt Continues for Suspect In “Execution-Style” Slaying Of Lakewood Officer

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christopher-matloszThe search continues for Jahmell W. Crockam, 19, of Edgewood Place in Lakewood, NJ, after he shot a Lakewood police officer, Christopher Matlosz, to death yesterday afternoon. He was charged with murder this afternoon.

“After interviewing numerous concerned citizens and witnesses, conducting other investigations – the details of which will remain confidential – we were satisfied that we met the criteria to establish that this is our suspect and that the charges did have a foundation of probable cause,” Ocean County Prosecutor Marlene Lynch Ford said Saturday.

More than 100 local, county, state and federal officers completed a house-to-house search overnight in the neighborhood where the shooting occurred, at times barging into homes at gunpoint and ordering inhabitants to get on the floor.

Over Shabbos, officers swept across Lakewood, attempting to bring in people possibly related to the shooting. The officers entered  Bais Medrash Ohr Meir on Fifth Street and took in a frum Yid, though it seems clear that he was in no way related to the incident. A possible minor summons may have been the cause for the police action in that case, but one source said that “the search has been frantic and the police are taking whatever action they feel is necessary.”

Crockam is still at large. The bail amount will be set at $5 million upon his arrest.

“We have to assume he’s armed and he’s not disinclined to use that fatal, lethal weapon if he feels threatened,” Ford said.

Crockam is known by the street name “Sav,” which is short for “Savage,” Ford said.

Ford did not comment on Crockam’s possible affiliation with street gangs. She said his known associates are being questioned and anyone with outstanding arrest warrants.

A law enforcement officer with details of the investigation confirmed that at least 24 people were arrested on unrelated warrants since 6 a.m. today.

During a press conference, Ford encouraged anyone that might be helping Crockam evade police to come forward with information about where he might be.

“We have no knowledge that someone is assisting him at this point in time,” Ford said. “We are concerned that someone, as misguided as it may be, is assisting him–they may be exposing themselves to criminal charges as well.”

The suspect, Jahmell W. Crockam
The suspect, Jahmell W. Crockam

When a reporter knocked on the door of a house in the Edgewood Court neighborhood where the suspect lives, a man answered the door and said he knows nothing more than what the public knows. He did not give his name or his relationship to the suspect.

Witnesses told police that Matlosz stopped Crockam in front of 1514 August Drive. The “routine” stop seemed to be non-confrontational. Then Crockam stepped back from the driver’s side of Matlosz’s car and fired three shots directly at the officer, authorities said.

The facts are rather frightening in what was a routine stop, a routine conversation, not an alarming or hostile conversation between an officer and a suspect certainly turned deadly,” said Ford.

Crockam was recently charged with weapons violations on Dec. 29 during an “incident” that Ford declined to describe. During that incident Crockam was arrested for possession of a rifle and hollow-point bullets. Ford would not comment on whether Matlosz was shot with hollow points.

The search for Crockam started in a wooded area near the shooting. State police helicopters circled the woods and the housing development through the evening. But, the search is no longer confined to a specific geographic area, Ford said.

Crockam was described as black, 5 foot 7 inches tall, about 220 pounds and he was last seen fleeing on foot wearing a black, hooded sweat shirt and dark, sagging jeans with exposed gray boxer shorts.

Black and purple bunting hung from the canopy over the entrance to the police station on Third Street. Officers covered their badges with strips of black fabric–sign of mourning.

The municipal courtroom and Township Council chambers was turned into a staging area for law enforcement officers. The police station was filled with federal, state and Monmouth and Ocean county municipal officers. An armored truck was parked outside. Officers wore body armor and other tactical gear.

{Matzav.com with APP}

14 COMMENTS

  1. EXCUSE ME
    DON’T BE AFRAID TO SAY THE TRUTH

    I WAS THERE, THEY BARGED IN LIKE CHAYOS!!!
    WITH THEIR FINGERS ON THE TRIGGER!!!!
    LIKE THEY CAUGHT SOME MAJOR MURDERER
    WHEN THEY KNEW IT WAS SHABOSS,AND A SHUL
    THIS WAS A 1939 STYLE POGROM!!!
    ARRESTING SOMEONE IN MIDDLE OF DAVENING, FOR A MINOR OFFENSE
    THIS HAS TO STOP
    WE WILL NOT TOLERATE ABUSE OF THE INNOCENT ORTHODOX COMMUNITY

    WOULD THEY GO INTO A MOSQUE OR CHURCH TO ARREST SOMEONE?
    WOULD THEY DISTURB SOMEONES RELIGIOUS DAY? NO
    ONLY THE JEWS SYNAGOGUE AND HOLY DAY THEY CAN DESECRATE
    THEY DONT CARE ABOUT US
    THEY ARE ABUSING OUR BASIC HUMAN RIGHTS AS AMERICAN CITIZENS
    WE ALL MUST STAND UP FOR THE TRUTH, AND NOT LET ANYONE GET AWAY WITH THIS ONE!!!
    SHAME ON THEM!!!!

  2. Was the murder suspect renting from a Frum Jew? Can we know the name of the landlord, or are we already in “cover up” mode?!

  3. Our thoughts and prayers are with the family.

    I can say on behalf of the entire Jewish community, may the Officer rest in peace. We thank him for his sacrifice on behalf of the community and we thank all the officers from being there for all the citizenry.

  4. “Crockam was recently charged with weapons violations on Dec. 29 during an “incident” that Ford declined to describe. During that incident Crockam was arrested for possession of a rifle and hollow-point bullets.”

    WHY WAS HE RELEASED?

  5. Why should he get any bail, even $5,000,000 when Shalom Rubashkin who is not a murderer isn’t allowed bail?
    What excuse do the police have for barging in to a shul on Shabbos with guns drawn and probably scaring the wits out of everyone, when they for sure knew that no there had anything to do with the murder?

  6. my 2 cents: “What excuse do the police have for barging in to a shul on Shabbos?”

    The cops want to show action on the cheap. They know they won’t get shot if they barge into a shul and abuse frum Yiden. Barging into a mosque would trigger a fight that would certainly give them a bloody nose.

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