SOUTH PLAINFIELD, NJ - South Plainfield's Labor Day Parade was cancelled today due to the investigation of suspicious activity last night in the township. Governor Phil Murphy had been scheduled to march in the parade, as had many local politicians, veterans, and administrators. Lots of kids were supposed to march, too.
Middlesex County Prosecutor Andrew C. Carey, Monmouth County Prosecutor Christopher Gramiccioni, Chief Brett M. Friedman of the Sea Bright Police Department, and Chief James Parker of the South Plainfield Police Department announced that a South Plainfield resident has been arrested and charged today with the possession of a destructive device for an unlawful purpose.
Thomas G. Kaiser, 55, of South Plainfield was arrested and charged with one count of possession of a destructive device for an unlawful purpose in the second degree and one count of possession of a destructive device in the third degree. It is anticipated that additional charges will be forthcoming. The New Jersey statute is 2C:39-4(d), “any person who has in his possession any weapon, except a firearm, explosive or destructive device, with a purpose to use it unlawfully against the person or property of another is guilty of a crime of the third degree.”
The South Plainfield Police Department canceled the South Plainfield Labor Day Parade out of an abundance of caution and due to the potential threat to the community.
On September 1, 2019, an investigation began in Monmouth County when a suspicious package with a destructive device was left at Donovan’s Reef in Sea Bright. An investigation by the Sea Bright Police Department and the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office led to the South Plainfield residence of Thomas Kaiser.
During the investigation it was learned that there were other destructive devices near his home which is located in the vicinity of the start of the South Plainfield Labor Day Parade prompting its cancellation.
Kaiser was transported to the Sea Bright Police Department where he was criminally charged.
If anyone sees or uncovers a suspicious package, they are urged to contact law enforcement.
An investigation was conducted by the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office, the Sea Bright Plainfield Police Department, the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office the South Plainfield Police Department, the New Jersey Office of Homeland Security and Preparedness, the FBI, the New Jersey State Police Bomb Squad and various K-9 units.
The investigation is ongoing and continuing. Anyone with information is asked to contact Detective Daniel Chernavsky of the Sea Bright Police Department at (732) 842-0010, Detective Shawn Murphy of the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office at (732) 803-5406, or the South Plainfield Police Department at (908) 755-0700.
As is the case with all criminal defendants, the charges against Kaiser are merely accusations and he is presumed innocent until proven guilty.