Last night at approximately 11:30pm, the Lakewood Police Department responded to the area of Forest Avenue & 6th Street to investigate the report of a disorderly person.
While enroute, officers learned that a male later identified as 22 year old Max Sanchez of Lakewood, had approached five pedestrians along Forest Avenue while brandishing a machete.
Although no specific threats were made to any of the victims, his menacing behavior caused fear of eminent injury or harm to each of them. All of the victims fled from Sanchez and contacted the police.
Responding Officers were able to obtain a detailed description of Sanchez and as a result he was quickly located and taken into custody without incident. The machete was also recovered.
Further investigation resulted in the numerous charges for assault and possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose. He was subsequently transported to the Ocean County Jail.
In addition, this investigation is still active. Investigators are looking into several unrelated cases in which Sanchez may have some involvement.
Although last night’s incident occurred in a neighborhood where a large portion of Orthodox Jewish families reside, there is nothing that indicates that Sanchez chose to menace the victims based on their religious beliefs. The Lakewood Police Department would like to thank members of Lakewood Civilian Safety Watch/Shomrim who were present in the area and assisted in his apprehension. In addition, we would like to recognize and credit the victims for their efforts in providing pertinent information all while seeking a position of safety. Despite the Lakewood Police Department best efforts to provide excellent service, we strongly remind our citizens that if they See Something, Say Something.