A trove of documents released by a New Jersey police department show Edward Cagney Mathews would get officers involved in the most trivial incidents
The petty life led by the New Jersey man whose racist outburst against a black neighbor shocked America has been laid bare in a trove of documents released by his hometown police department.
They show Edward Cagney Mathews would get police involved in the most trivial incidents — such as ‘children running up and down stairwell,’ and ‘improper parking’ on his housing development.
He even called cops on himself after getting in an argument with his fiancée because he was worried one of them might turn violent.
‘Mr. Mathews stated he and his fiancée had been arguing for several hours,’ a report reads.
‘Mr. Mathews explained he knew how he can act and how his fiancée could act and wanted to report something before a domestic violence occurred,’ the police report of the incident reads.
Police in Mount Laurel, New Jersey, released the documents to DailyMail.com following an open records request. It shows Mathews had 152 contacts with the department over a 32-year period.
In total, DailyMail.com obtained 717 pages of reports, going back to the time when Mathews was 13 years old for allegedly setting a fire and assault
Many of the details are redacted to protect the privacy of others involved. Whole pages of his record when he was a juvenile are also blacked out.
In total there are 717 pages of reports, going back to the time when Mathews, now 45, was a 13-year-old. In that case he was accused of setting a fire and assault.
Mathews is currently inmate number 65749 in Burlington County Detention Center in Mount Holly, New Jersey, awaiting trial on charges ranging from bias harassment and drug offenses to possession of a slingshot. He is due in court on August 25 for a bail hearing, following an incident over the July 4 weekend.
A video of him spitting at a black neighbor and calling him ‘monkey’ and using the n-word, went viral last month, leading to organized protests outside his house. Neighbors told DailyMail.com at the time that he has a history of racial abuse and had never been held to account.
One black neighbor, Barbary Guillory, said Mathews was like the ‘village idiot.’
‘We all know the elevator doesn’t go all the way to the top floor with him,’ she added. ‘That’s just Cagney.’
One of the more bizarre incidents in the record was over a neighbor feeding squirrels on a common piece of grassland within the Essex Place development where Mathews lived.
He got into a fight with her because he thought the rodents were eating through the electrical wiring in his vehicle.
First he came out with a leaf blower to remove two peanuts the woman had left for the squirrels.
Then, she alleged, he mixed animal feed with excrement and left the stinking mess outside her front door.
Police could not prove that Mathews was the person who left the feces and, in the end, took no action.
Many of the incidents are petty fights with neighbors that led to no charges, but others are more serious.
Footage posted online showed Mathews, 45, squaring up to a black neighbor – spitting on him, calling him the n-word and a ‘monkey’, and saying he was ‘from Africa’, during a confrontation outside his Mount Laurel, New Jersey home last month
He is currently jailed in Mount Holly, New Jersey, awaiting trial on charges ranging from bias harassment and drug offenses to possession of a slingshot
His police complaints got so bad that Mathews asked Mount Laurel cop Alfred Haines to look up his record.
‘I went back to the report room and I attempted to locate any case numbers associated with Edward Cagney Mathews, but there was an overwhelming amount of them spanning back into the late 1980s,’ Haines wrote, adding yet another document to the growing pile.
The papers detail how Mathews threw his wife Shannon Schwartzhoff (pictured) out of their townhouse in January 2020
The first 44 cases occurred when Mathews was still a juvenile and details have been redacted, but they show offenses ranging from burglary and assault to drug cases.
Many of the documents raise more questions than answers. One 77-page report is completely blacked out except to say it involved a kidnapping. It is impossible to work out what role Mathews had in the case, which occurred when he was 14.
The papers detail how Mathews threw his wife Shannon Schwartzhoff out of their townhouse in January 2020. Officer Derek Riker said he went to the house and found Schwartzhoff — whose name is redacted in the report — crying on the doorstep after an argument.
Riker said Mathews initially refused to answer the door. When he finally did he was ‘in an irate manner’ and refused to give his side of the story.
Last month Schwartzhoff told DailyMail.com: ‘There’s a reason why I am his ex,’ but did not elaborate.
Other cases show Mathews’s poor relationship with his neighbors in racially mixed Essex Place. On May 21, 2020, for instance, he tried to file a criminal complaint against one neighbor for ‘improper parking.’
Nine days later he called cops again, this time because someone had posted two handwritten Black Lives Matter signs on the neighborhood dumpsters.
‘He said he was concerned for the neighborhood,’ Officer Haines wrote in his report.
‘[Mathews] informed me he is running for the [homeowners’] association board president position.’
In a strange incident in February this year Mathews called police to clarify whether it was OK for him to curse at a cop if no-one else is around, after the homeowners’ association complained.
‘The complaint alleged Mr. Mathews was using foul and offensive language while speaking to MLPD officers while no-one else was present, which he admitted to doing,’ wrote Officer Ian Boltz.
The 45-year-old had called police for incidents including ‘children running up and down stairwell,’ and ‘improper parking’ in his housing development
One of the more bizarre incidents in the record was over a neighbor feeding squirrels on a common piece of grassland within the Essex Place development where Mathews lived
‘Mr. Mathews requested that I confirm that it is not unlawful, per Mount Laurel Township Ordinances to use the language when no-one else is present.’
Boltz said he was not prepared to check the ordinances to see if Mathews was correct. ‘Mr. Mathews was not pleased with my response and requested to speak with a supervisor,’ Boltz wrote.
Another neighbor accused him of slashing two tires on her Mercedes Benz — although she admitted she had no direct proof that he was responsible.
The woman said Mathews was ‘abrasive’ and kept pressuring her to vote for him as homeowners’ association president.
One incident from July 2016 matches details given to DailyMail.com by Jazmyn Suszynski, who lived above Mathews before he moved to Essex Place. She claimed Mathews had kicked in her front door on the day she moved in, after he had complained about noise.
In a 2017 incident, Mathews turned up at Mount Laurel Police Headquarters in an agitated state.
‘He said he was at the station to file complaints for harassment, terroristic threats and anything else he could, wrote Officer Haines.
‘When I asked against who, he said that he wanted to sign complaints against whoever it was that he was having problems with, which seemed to be his upstairs neighbors. When I asked when this happened, he said he wanted to sign complaints from anytime and everytime during the past year when he was involved with the neighbors.’
Another time he turned up at the police station with a stack of citizen complaint forms and demanded an officer take them. ‘I then began reading the citizen complaint forms and advised Mr. Mathews that they were not filled out,’ wrote Patrolman Joseph Searle.
Jazmyn Suszynski (pictured) 26, told DailyMail.com of an 18-month reign of terror he waged against her after she moved into an apartment above his former home (right) in 2016
She said she one day awoke to find her car was vandalized with messages reading: ‘I am a n***** who sucks c***s’
Suszynski shared footage of racist messages she claims Mathews once stenciled all over her car
‘Mr. Mathews then proceeded to exit the lobby and at that point I advised him that the complaints were not complete,’ added Searle.
‘Mr. Mathews became enraged as he was walking towards his vehicle stating: ‘You are threatening and harassing me and you will be reported to Internal Affairs.’
Searle ended his report tersely. ‘No complaints were able to be generated with the information provided. Nothing further to report.’
Mathews also claimed a neighbor had cracked the windshield on his vehicle. ‘The damage was … consistent with damage caused by normal wear and tear or extreme weather conditions,’ wrote Officer Timothy Hudnall.
He tried to file a criminal complaint of fraud against the former owners of his house in 2019 — two years after he had bought it — because the air conditioning unit had broken down.
Officer Haines told him it was a civil, not criminal, matter. ‘I suggested that he consult with an attorney, but he said he did not want to pay for one and was able to handle the case himself.’
Among the cases in which the police narratives are completely redacted are from 1994 where Mathews was charged with possession of cocaine, marijuana, magic mushrooms and angel dust.