SOUTH PLAINFIELD, NJ - The New Jersey chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-NJ) welcomed charges brought by Essex County prosecutors against a Nutley man who is accused of ramming SUV into the occupied vehicle of a Muslim woman and her son.
According to the Nutley Police Department, the incident began with the Carvel Ice Cream shop on Franklin Ave on April 21.. While inside the business, Michael Morrison, 55, is reported to have yelled, “You’re a terrorist”, and “I’m going to kill you” at the victim, and her 16 year-old-son. The incident then continued outside.
After leaving the establishment, located adjacent to Nutley High School, Morrison is reported to have followed the victim in his SUV. He is then reported to have crashed his vehicle into the driver's side of the victim's vehicle. She was stopped at a stop sign.
According to the Nutley Police Department, Morrison rammed the victim's vehicle twice, and was attempting to ram it a third time when he fled the scene. Later that evening, Nutley police officers arrested of Morrison at his home.
The Essex County Prosecutors Office is charging Morrison with two counts of aggravated assault with deadly weapon (second degree crime), terroristic threats (third degree crime), Bias Intimidation (first degree crime), possession of a weapon for unlawful purpose (third degree crime), and unlawful possession of a weapon (fourth degree crime).
The Nutley Police Department also charged him with faces motor vehicle summonses for reckless driving, wrong way on one-way street, leaving the scene of an accident involving property damage, failure to report accident, and failure to show license, registration.
He currently remains in custody, awaiting his second appearance before the court.
In a statement, CAIR-NJ Executive Director Selaedin Maksut said:
“We welcome the charges brought against the alleged attacker and appreciate the Nutley Police Department’s quick and professional response. We expect that local, state and federal law enforcement authorities make this and all hate crimes a priority.
“Horrific acts of violence like this remind us of the rise in Islamophobia and other forms of bigotry in our nation, and the importance of condemning hatred whenever and wherever we see it. Tolerating this type of evil will only lead to more violence against minority communities. It is the responsibility of government officials and law enforcement to proactively speak out against bigotry, letting the people of New Jersey know that Islamophobia is not welcomed in our state.”
The Washington-based civil rights organization has reported an unprecedented spike in bigotry targeting American Muslims, immigrants and members of other minority groups since the election of Donald Trump as president. CAIR’s mission is to enhance understanding of Islam, protect civil rights, promote justice, and empower American Muslims.
TAPinto Nutley broke the story on April 24, 2020: Nutley Man Charged With Bias Intimidation, Aggravated Assault Following Motor Vehicle Incident
Since 2016, TAPintoNutley.net has been the only locally owned news organization serving the Township of Nutley, and is a member of the New Jersey Press Association. The Nutley Board of Commissioners first named TAPintoNutley.net the township's 'Official Electronic News Source' in 2019.