LAKEWOOD — A man with a machete yelled profanities at a group of students at a Jewish school on Thursday evening.

Police were called to the Bais Medrash Torat Chesed Yeshiva on Monmouth Avenue around 8:30 p.m. about a man with a machete standing across 9th Street, according to police Capt. Gregory Staffordsmith.

The caller told police the man was wearing a ski mask and playing loud music from a portable speaker.

The man also chased someone down the street toward a construction site. Officers checked the site and could not locate the man.

Staffordsmith said the man did not make any specific threat toward the students.

Outside the Bais Medrash Torat Chesed after a search and evacuation 1/6/23
Outside the Bais Medrash Torat Chesed after a search and evacuation 1/6/23 (The Lakewood Scoop)

Search of the Yeshiva

The man was last seen walking east on 9th Street and was gone from the area before officers arrived. Officers conducted an extensive search of the area including a "systematic" evacuation of the building and search.

Staffordsmith said the man is described as approximately 5 feet 10 inches with a heavy set build and wearing a white and purple jacket. Anyone with information about the suspect is asked to call Lakewood police at 732-363-0200.

Bais Medrash Torat Chesed is a licensed, accredited Talmudic school where students study the Talmud, the religious writings that are the center of the Jewish religion.

The Aniti-Defamation League of New York./New Jersey in a tweet said they are aware of the incident and have reached out to community partners and law enforcement to learn more.

The incident comes less than a week after a 19-year-old Maine man stabbed three NYPD officers near Times Square on New Year's Eve with a machete. He is considered to have acted on his own after being radicalized against the United States government over its support for Israel.

The Lakewood Scoop was first to report on the incident.

Dan Alexander is a reporter for New Jersey 101.5. You can reach him at

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