During the public comments portion of the council meeting Wednesday night, a small group of family and friends of Larry Yarbrough Jr., the Red Bank man stabbed and killed on Bank Street just weeks ago, took to the microphone to thank the mayor and council for their support.
But, they said, they also have plenty of questions about that night, questions they say that have not been answered, leaving family members to worry about the details of the event that took Yarbrough’s life. What prompted the fight? Was anyone else involved? Why did it have to happen?
Many of those questions, Mayor Pasquale Menna said, can’t be answered, at least not now. What the borough can provide, he said, is its condolences to the family and the assurance that Red Bank will always do its best to ensure that it’s residents remain safe.
Yarbrough, known as “Froggy,” was stabbed and killed in the early morning hours of Aug. 7 following an altercation between two groups of men. Those with knowledge of the case say the 39-year-old Yarbrough was a victim who was trying to pull a friend away when he was stabbed.
The following day, the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office announced that two men had been arrested and charged with murder and weapons charges in connection with the stabbing. Red Bank residents Jose Francisco Olivares-Palma, 24, and Genarro Guerrero-Montes, 19, were arrested after authorities said they fled to Lakewood.
Some of the tension that remains stems from the belief that many living in Red Bank, specifically in the west side of town, are illegal aliens. The concern was addressed directly during a vigil for Yarbrough and again, indirectly, at Wednesday council meeting when Yarbrough’s stepsister Carla Gibson asked if the home where the incident took place, believed to be where at least one of the suspects lived, has been cited for overcrowding.
“There have been no complaints of any type at this particular residence,” Menna, who said the borough has made an effort to crack down on overcrowded housing, said.
Community organizer Linda Clark said the recent vigil, a time for remembrance for Yarbrough, wasn’t enough. A second community event, tentatively called A Time to Express Concern, is planned for Sept. 24 at 3 p.m. at Calvary Baptist Church on River Street.
“There’s a lot of grief among those in the community,” she said. “There is still some tension. I don’t want (Yarbrough’s death) to be one of those back to business as usual type of things.”