3 Arrested in Connection to NJ Cross Burning

Eight-foot cross set on fire off Route 9 in South Jersey.

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Three men have been arrested and charged in connection to a burning cross spotted off the side of a highway in southern New Jersey.

State Police spokesman Stephen Jones says three men were seen near the 8-by-4-foot wooden cross, which was set ablaze off Route 9 around 8 p.m. Wednesday night.

Investigators believe the three men were targeting an African-American family who moved to the neighborhood six months ago. The cross was placed a few yards away from their home.

Jones says troopers patrolling the area stopped the men to question them.

Jones says Nicholas Comis, 22, of Tuckerton appeared to have gas stains on his pants and was arrested Wednesday night.

The other two men, Daniel Enders, 22, of New Gretna, and Christopher Hurrll, 21, were arrested Thursday.

All three are charged with committing a hate crime, arson and conspiracy to commit arson. The charges carry a three- to five-year sentence upon conviction.

A woman living at the home and her neighbor declined to speak on camera, but said, “It’s sad and disturbing that something like this can still happen in 2011.”

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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