Governor Phil Murphy, right, and First Lady Tammy Murphy with Mayor Pasquale Menna at the Red Bank Classic in 2018. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)
By JOHN T. WARD
Red Bank Mayor Pasquale Menna said he apologized to Governor Phil Murphy Tuesday for an incident in which Murphy and his family were harassed by louts as they ate dinner downtown Sunday.
Video of the encounter by an unknown person. (Click to enlarge.)
As seen on a widely shared 36-second video, two unidentified women called Murphy a “dick” and dropped the f-bomb while he and his family ate outdoors at Char Steakhouse.
The women did not speak for Red Bank, Menna said during the council’s meeting Tuesday night. Their words “were not in any sense or fashion of the world the opinions and beliefs of the residents and visitors” to the borough, Menna said.
Menna said he had apologized to Murphy, “and he was, of course, extraordinarily gracious and understanding, and that’s why we love him so much.”
Menna said in answering reporters’ questions about the incident, he had also “apologized to people who were offended by that type of language in a public space.”
Murphy took an understanding tone about the incident Monday, asking critics to “leave my family out of this,” while say he understood the “stress” many New Jerseyans are under in the pandemic.
“This is exactly not the time to be going after each other,” he said. “The stress levels are overwhelming. I get it. We all live it. You’re out of a job, you’re out of work. Your business is bust. You’ve lost somebody. Who the heck could blame you for being stressed? But let’s try not to let all that divide us even further. Let’s try to find common ground.”
The Murphys live on the Navesink River in Middletown, just opposite Red Bank, and are regular patrons of borough restaurants.
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