Prosecutors say several acts of vandalism committed at five predominantly black churches in northern New Jersey are no longer being investigated as possible bias crimes.
Officials announced Sunday that a 45-year-old Morristown man has been arrested and charged with criminal mischief for breaking windows and damaging signs at the Morris Township and Morristown churches.
. The Church of God in Christ for All Saints' security footage shows a man throwing a rock at the front window. Four churches were vandalized in Morristown, the fifth was in the neighboring Morris Township.
• Church of God in Christ for All Saints
• Bethel A.M.E. Church
• Calvary Baptist Church
• Union Baptist Church
• Morristown Church of Christ
"I was angry, and I am angry that a person would violate a sacred space," says Pastor Robert Rogers.
What's worse, Rogers says, this happened on a Holiday weekend, a time when community members should feel the most secure.
The shattered welcome signs and broken windows didn't stop church goers Sunday. Many of whom say this isn't a local problem, it's a national one.
"There's so much hatred in America," says Reverend Forrest Pritchett, "I'm thankful, perhaps, this wasn't expressed in a more hateful manner."
Zuri C. Towns told officials he acted alone. Officials say he had previously attended services as a minor at one of the vandalized churches. He was arrested near his home that's close to some of the churches.
Officials say their investigation shows no signs these were bias crimes.
Towns was served with summons complains pending a court appearance. Lawyer information for Towns could not be found.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.