June 30, 2023
Ocean County Prosecutor Bradley D. Billhimer announced that on June 29, 2023, Patrick Pennell, 55, of Toms River, was indicted by a Grand Jury sitting in Ocean County on charges of Bias Intimidation and Criminal Mischief, in connection with an incident that occurred in Toms River on November 22, 2022.
On November 22, 2022, Officers from the Toms River Township Police responded to a residence on Parisian Drive for a report of a disturbance in progress. Responding Officers discovered a vehicle with a shattered driver’s side window parked in the driveway of the residence. A subsequent investigation revealed that the victim was visiting an acquaintance at the residence when Pennell – a neighbor of the acquaintance – approached him and became confrontational. Pennell proceeded to make racial and homophobic slurs to the victim. As the victim was trying to leave, Pennell punched the driver’s side window of the victim’s vehicle, causing it to shatter. Pennell was taken into custody and transported to Toms River Township Police Headquarters. He was processed and charged on a summons pending future appearances in Ocean County Superior Court.
Prosecutor Billhimer acknowledges the diligent efforts of Senior Assistant Prosecutor Ashley Angelo and Assistant Prosecutor Julie Peterson who presented the case to the Grand Jury on behalf of the State, and commends the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Bias Crime Unit and Toms River Township Police Department for their collaborative efforts in connection with this investigation.
The charges referenced above are merely accusations and the press and public are reminded that all defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.