Additional charges are expected against 55-year-old Thomas Kaiser, authorities said.
Gov. Phil Murphy and his wife Tammy had been scheduled to march in the parade, which had been set to start at 10 a.m.
S PLAINFIELD BORO: Labor Day Parade & Fireworks are canceled due to a security concern. Police are conducting an investigation at this time. https://t.co/MjwvfrrMrV
— South Plainfield NJ (@BoroughofSPlfd) September 2, 2019
Authorities announced their decision to call off the parade on social media at around 7:15 a.m. due to a “security concern.” A heavy police presence appeared along the parade route as well as in in Spring Lake Park.
The parade, a 5k run and fireworks display were all canceled. Authorities said they made the decision “out of an abundance of caution and due to the potential threat to the community.”
According to authorities, a suspicious package with “a destructive device” was left at Donovan’s Reef bar in Sea Bright.
“During the investigation, it was learned that there were other destructive devices near [Kaiser’s] home which is located in the vicinity of the start of the South Plainfield Labor Day Parade,” according to the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office.
Kaiser’s younger brother told CBS2’s Nick Caloway that Kaiser had brought one homemade firework to the bar.
Authorities urges anyone who sees a suspicious package to contact law enforcement.
Maple Avenue should’ve been packed with people: Instead, it’s deserted, with empty chairs lining the parade route, reported CBS2’s Nick Caloway.
“That’s crazy. I honestly had no idea. I honestly thought they canceled the parade because of the rain. That’s usually what they do. I had no idea about the security threat. That’s actually scary, to be honest. Because you have no idea what could happen,” said resident Genesis Acevedo, who lives near the parade route.
Anyone with information is asked to contact the Sea Bright Police Department at (732) 842-0010, the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office at (732) 803-5406, or the South Plainfield Police Department at (908) 755-0700.