Toms River man punches a man during BLM protest in Seaside Heights, police say
Editor's Note: This article has been updated to include a witness testimony.
A Toms River resident was arrested and charged with allegedly punching another man in the face during an altercation on the Seaside Heights boardwalk Saturday afternoon during a Black Lives Matter protest.
Seaside Heights Police Detective Steve Korman said that 28-year old Jamaal Holmes of the Black Lives Matter Organization was arrested for Simple Assault.
While marching on the Boardwalk along with nearly 25 additional Black Lives Matter Supporters, police say Holmes struck a 68-year-old man in the facial area during a verbal altercation between the two located at Sherman and the Boardwalk.
The victim fell to the boardwalk after being struck and sustained a small laceration to the back of the head.
Holmes was charged and released from the Seaside Heights Police Department.
A Toms River woman who was on the boardwalk during the movement on Saturday afternoon tells Townsquare Media News that she was there with about 20 other individuals and stated that the 68-year old man was "heckling us like many others did what what he did, unlike others, was get physical."
She said the 68-year old man was "in my face screaming profanities and had spit on me. When he didn't get a reaction from myself and the few around me is when he moved onward to Jamaal."
In a 30-second video she shared with Townsquare Media News that does not depict what happened prior to the incident, Jamaal is chanting Black Lives Matter and is approached by a man who says "Hey, j-----f, take the mask off you scumbag. Take the mask off!"
An altercation then ensues that is not visibly clear on camera only that Jamaal's phone fell to the ground.
Jamaal then picks it up and says "that's what happens when you lay hands on people buddy."
The witness who provided the video said that he swung at Jamal and hit him twice and Jamaal then pushes him away.
"The man appeared drunk, like I said he spit on me and smelled of alcohol, so when he was pushed for hitting someone he fell back and tripped on his bike."
She said the man had first approached and began yelling at Boaz Matlack who was leading the march before making his way toward Jamaal.
"Boaz responded with the bullhorn saying "Have a good day sir". We had people with opposing opinions yell towards us all day, it was expected and it's totally fine."
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