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Labor Day parade canceled after explosive devices found; New Jersey governor was to attend

, Bridgewater Courier News
Published 2:33 p.m. ET Sept. 2, 2019

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SOUTH PLAINFIELD, N.J. – A man has been arrested and charged with possessing explosive devices, an incident that resulted in the cancellation of the annual South Plainfield Labor Day Parade.

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Thomas G. Kaiser, 55, was arrested and charged with second-degree possession of a destructive device for an unlawful purpose and one count of third-degree possession of a destructive device, the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office announced in a news release around noon on Monday, two hours after the parade was scheduled to commence. 

Governor Phil Murphy and First Lady Tammy Murphy were scheduled to attend the parade, according to the governor’s public schedule.

Kaiser lives on West Crescent Parkway just around the corner from the parade’s starting point, according to public records.

It is anticipated that additional charges will be forthcoming, the county prosecutor’s office said.

The South Plainfield Police Department canceled the South Plainfield Labor Day Parade “out of an abundance of caution and due to the potential threat to the community,” according to the release.

The investigation began on Sept. 1 in Monmouth County when a suspicious package with a destructive device was left at Donovan’s Reef in Sea Bright, the release said. An investigation by the Sea Bright Police Department and the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office allegedly led to the South Plainfield residence of Thomas Kaiser.

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During the investigation, it was learned that there were other destructive devices near Kaiser’s home, which is located in the vicinity of the Police Athletic League building at 1250 Maple Ave. that serves as the start of the South Plainfield Labor Day Parade. 

Kaiser was transported to the Sea Bright Police Department where he was criminally charged.

The announcement to cancel the South Plainfield Labor Day Parade was posted on South Plainfield’s website hours before the parade was scheduled to be held and was attributed to “security concerns.” The fireworks were also canceled.

An investigation was conducted by the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office, the Sea Bright Plainfield Police Department, the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office the South Plainfield Police Department, the New Jersey Office of Homeland Security and Preparedness, the FBI, the New Jersey State Police Bomb Squad and various K-9 units.

The investigation is ongoing and continuing.

Follow Nick Muscavage on Twitter: @nmuscavage

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