US Police use drone to hunt down man who committed “hate crime” by saying “Go back to Lakewood”

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BRICK – Police on Tuesday used a drone to find a subject they were seeking in connection with an alleged bias incident that occurred inside the Target store on Route 70 Monday night.

After police shared a surveillance photograph of the wanted subject on its social media channels, they received tips that led them to identify the person as Francis Dudas, 51, of Brick, Sgt. James Kelly said in a news release.

Following that, police used a department store drone to look for Dudas, the news release said. As a result, Sgt. Keith Donnelly, along with township Detectives Dominick Puccio, Brian Farnkopf and Robert Shepherd found Dudas in a wooded area east of Cedar Bridge Avenue and placed him under arrest, the news release said.

The initial incident occurred at the Target store at 570 Route 70. Police were called there about 7:30 p.m. Monday on a report of a customer being harassed, according to the news release.

Once police arrived, the victim reported that a man began harassing him as he tried to enter the store and then followed him as he shopped, taunting him and ultimately threatening him, the news release said. One of the things Dudas is alleged to have said to the victim was, “Go back to Lakewood,” Kelly said.

Lakewood, with its large Orthodox Jewish community, has been the subject of anti-Semitic incidents in the past.

When the victim said he was going to call the police, the man responded that he should also call an ambulance, according to the news release.

Dudas was charged with simple assault, harassment, terroristic threats and two counts of bias intimidation — one connected to the alleged simple assault and the other connected to the alleged harassment, the news release said. 

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