Thomas Kaiser Accused After South Plainfield Parade Canceled

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Thomas Kaiser is the suspect accused of having small explosive devices at a home near a New Jersey parade route.

In a news release, the 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.”

You can read the press release in full here.

Authorities then announced the arrest of Thomas G. Kaiser, 55, of South Plainfield. However, Kaiser’s brother defended him in an interview with journalist Samantha Liebman, saying the news coverage was distorted and authorities went too far.

Here’s what you need to know:

Kaiser was Living in His Parents’ Basement & the South Plainfield Labor Day Parade Was Canceled After the Accusations Arose, Reports Say

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According to NBC, Thomas Kaiser was “said to be living with his parents in the basement” and “was known to have some mental issues.” There was no allegation that Kaiser was targeting the parade or governor, however.

Kaiser 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 prosecutor’s news release said.

“The South Plainfield Police Department has canceled the South Plainfield Labor Day Parade out of an abundance of caution and due to the potential threat to the community,” it continued.

Labor Day fell on Monday, Sept. 2, 2019.

The investigation Began With a ‘Suspicious Package With a Destructive Device’ But His Brother Defended Him

Kaiser’s brother told journalist Samantha Liebman that authorities distorted the situation, saying “they’re not finding anything” and said authorities were shooting “from the hip.” He said stories were “falsified” and “it’s one firework.” His brother said it was ridiculous. “It’s not a bomb.”

On September 1, 2019, the investigation started in Monmouth County “when a suspicious package with a destructive device was left at Donovan’s Reef in Sea Bright,” the news release continued. According to NBC, the package was discovered “by cleaners after a Guns 4 Hire concert at Donovan’s Reef in Sea Bright.”

NBC reported that the suspect “had brought a cooler of fireworks to the concert,” sparking the investigation.

“An investigation by the Sea Bright Police Department and the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office led to the South Plainfield residence of Thomas Kaiser.” There, according to NBC, authorities discovered “more fireworks and homemade devices.”

Prosecutors alleged: “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.”

The Investigation Is Ongoing

Multiple agencies were involved in the investigation, which remains ongoing. “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 news release stated.

“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.”

Prosecutors also issued this standard reminder: “As is the case with all criminal defendants, the charges against Kaiser are merely accusations and he is presumed innocent until proven guilty.”

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