LAKEWOOD, N.J. (PIX11/AP) — Authorities have accused a New Jersey man of trying to lure Orthodox Jewish women as part of a gang initiation.
Lakewood police have charged 18-year-old Rafael Laurano-Flores from Mexico with obstruction, resisting arrest, bias intimidation and bias harassment.
Police on Tuesday responded to a report of an attempted abduction of a 16-year-old girl and a report of a man trying to follow a woman and her teenage daughter.
Detective Sgt. Greg Staffordsmith tells the Asbury Park Press that Laurano-Flores was trying to touch and knock down women from the Orthodox Jewish community as part of an initiation for the MS-13 gang.
“We have not seen gang-related targeting in a long time. People are like, ‘What is going on?’ It has always been gang against gang, but now we don’t know if this is some kind of ‘knock-out game’ or what,” Lakewood community watch coordinator Pinny Werner told the paper.
Laurano-Flores is held on $18,000 bail. It’s not known if he has a lawyer.