FREEHOLD –   A Holmdel Township man is facing charges after igniting molotov cocktail explosive devices on three nights earlier this week in a business parking lot, Acting Monmouth County Prosecutor Lori Linskey announced today.

Brendan J. Dunne, 24, was charged with four counts of third degree Possession of a Destructive Device, as well as the petty disorderly persons offense of Disorderly Conduct. He faces up to 5 years on each of the third degree crimes.

On July 19, 2021, at approximately 10:10 p.m., the Hazlet Township Police Department responded to a report of a fire in the parking lot of the Route 35 Costco and Cinemark movie theater complex. After extinguishing the fire, the responding officer detected the source of the fire to be what appeared as a homemade Molotov cocktail, a glass bottle containing charred pieces of cardboard. Subsequent investigation by the Hazlet Police Department revealed similar fires being ignited at the same location on July 21st and two on July 22nd. With the assistance of officers from the Holmdel Township Police Department and Detectives from the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office, Dunne was identified and subsequently arrested.

Acting Prosecutor Linskey credited the efforts of the local police departments, as well as the FBI and the New Jersey Office of Homeland Security, for the investigation that led to the defendant’s identification and arrest before any injury or property damage could occur.

Hazlet Township Police Chief Ted Wittke echoed Linskey, saying, “Whenever crimes like this occur, there is an urgent need to catch those who are responsible. We are happy that we were able to work with our local, county, state and federal law enforcement partners to bring this case to a quick conclusion.”

Dunne remains incarcerated in the Monmouth County Correctional Institution pending a detention hearing scheduled for next week.

Despite these charges, every defendant is presumed innocent, unless and until found guilty beyond a reasonable doubt, following a trial at which the defendant has all of the trial rights guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution and State law.

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