SOUTH PLAINFIELD - The Monmouth County Detention Hearing for Thomas Kaiser set for this morning has been postponed following the defense's request for an adjournment. The proceedings, now set for Friday, Sept. 13, will determine if Kaiser will be detained in Monmouth County on charges he left a suspicious package with a destructive device at Donovan’s Reef Restaurant in Seabright, NJ over Labor Day weekend. The 55-year-old South Plainfield man currently faces multiple criminal charges for allegedly possessing destructive devices for unlawful purposes and tampering with evidence.
Kaiser is also currently set to make a first appearance in Middlesex Superior Court on Oct. 4 to face additional charges brought forth earlier this week. Officials allege Kaiser disposed 'homemade destructive devices' and additional materials around the vicinity of his home on West Crescent Parkway.
According to the Affidavit of Probable Cause obtained by TAPinto South Plainfield, the Seabright Police Department and the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office conducted an initial investigation on Sunday, Sept. 1 after surveillance video and witness statements led to them identify Kaiser as the suspect who brought a destructive device into Donovan’s Reef Restaurant.
According to the affidavit, Kaiser knowingly possessed homemade destructive instruments that were designed to 'explode or produce an uncontrolled combustion.' While the investigation underway, officials allege that Kaiser disposed of the devices along with materials, which included fuses, a plastic bottle of Pirodex and a bag containing explosive powder designed to explode or produce an 'uncontrolled combustion.' The affidavit goes on to state that New Jersey State Police (NJSP) Bomb Unit safely recovered the devices and confirmed that they field tested positive as 'explosive type destructive devices.'
Kaiser provided voluntary taped statements confessing that he deconstructed multiple destructive devices and discarded the materials at four different locations in South Plainfield, including the garbage dumpster in the Grant School parking lot at 305 Cromwell Place, in the vicinity of Kenyon Avenue near Edgar Avenue, and on Cady Lane near Maple Avenue.
Kaiser was arrested on Sept. 2 and charged with one count of possession of a destructive device for an unlawful purpose - 2nd degee and one count of possession of a destructive device – 3rd degree. On Sept. 4, Kaiser was charged additionally with four counts of possession of a prohibited device – 3rd degree and one count of tampering with evidence - 4th degree.
The unfolding of events overnight on Sunday, Sept. 1, into the early morning hours of Monday, Sept. 2, led South Plainfield officials to cancel the 62nd Annual Labor Day Parade and Fireworks, the largest yearly Labor Day celebration in New Jersey.
“There’s been no explicit indication that these devices were planted around the parade route,” said South Plainfield Mayor Matthew Anesh during a Labor Day press conference. “His (Kaiser’s) home is in the vicinity of the parade route and out of an abundance of caution, it was determined that the parade would be cancelled for that reason.”
Plans are underway for a community event to honor veterans and celebrate the spirit of South Plainfield to take the place of the cancelled Labor Day Parade.
Anyone with information is asked to contact Detective Craig Magnani of the South Plainfield Police Department at (908) 755-0700; Detective Daniel Chernavsky of the Sea Bright Police Department at (732) 842-0010; or Detective Shawn Murphy of the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office at (732) 803-5406.
Note, as is the case with all criminal defendants, the charges against Kaiser are merely accusations and he is presumed innocent until proven guilty.