Tent City Drama - New York News

Tent City Drama

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Lakewood, New Jersey (My9NJ) -

Lakewood’s tent city leader Minister Steve Brigham was in court yesterday after being charged with witness tampering and vandalism related to the eviction of two tent city residents.

Brigham says that there are rules to this encampment and he felt that the behavior of these people which included disrupting other residents and possible drug use was reason enough to take down their tents and remove them from the community.

The documentary surrounding Lakewood’s tent city, “Destiny’s Bridge” has been subpoenaed as evidence in this case against Minster Steve. The reason being, that the original arrest of Minister Steve back in June was captured on camera and that is why the video is being used in court.

The Documentary Filmmaker, Jack Ballo discussed the arrest. “He got arrest about 5 o’clock at night. He did not get released until 3 o’clock in the morning. So I met with him about 9 o’clock the next morning. What ended up happening was that the police came back that day again and raided the camp and that was when most of my filming was taking place during that actual time.” He said.

The two ex-residents who have brought up these charges against Minster Steve are present throughout the documentary. “There was a problem between the two of the residents, they were fighting with each other and one wanted to call the police and Minister Steve asked her not to. He said let’s work it out here which they do all the time, but she called the police anyway. A few days later, it turned out that Minister Steve wanted to eliminate the one girl from the encampment, as well as two other people that he thought were involved with drugs.” Ballo said.

Unfortunately, there has been a continuing legal battle between the township of Lakewood and the tent city because the neighborhood is set up on public property.

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