The person accused of coming into the house of a New York rabbi and stabbing 5 individuals with a machete in a horrifying anti-Semitic assault on Saturday night time pleaded not responsible to a number of homicide costs hours after the assault.
Sporting a white jumpsuit, Grafton E. Thomas, 37, of Greenwood Lake, N.Y., appeared on the Ramapo City Corridor in Ramapo, N.Y. final Sunday morning, faces 5 counts of tried homicide and one rely of housebreaking. Bail was set at $5 million.
Police stated Thomas alleged entered the house of Rabbi Chaim Rottenberg in Monsey, a suburb north of New York City, throughout a Hanukkah celebration – the newest in a string of anti-Semitic incidents in current weeks that together with beatings of Jewish individuals within the streets of New York Metropolis and a massacre at a kosher grocery retailer in Jersey Metropolis, N.J.
Thomas fled the scene of the stabbing however was later captured within the Harlem neighborhood of New York Metropolis. He had blood throughout this clothes and smelled of bleach, in keeping with prosecutors.
One particular person was very severely wounded, the governor instructed reporters, and remained in crucial situation. The rabbi’s son was additionally injured, Gov. Andrew Cuomo stated. His standing and that of the opposite victims was not clear.
Authorities haven’t supplied a motive for the assault, however Cuomo stated it was an instance of bigger issues.
“This is an intolerant time in our country,” he stated to reporters exterior the rabbi’s dwelling on Sunday morning. “We see anger, we see hatred exploding.”
He added: “It is an American cancer on the body politic.”
Police stated the stabbings occurred at round 10 p.m. A witness noticed the suspect fleeing in automobile and alerted police to license plate quantity, Weidel, the police chief in Ramapo, which covers Monsey, stated. That allowed police to search out his car as he entered New York Metropolis, the place police apprehended.
“I used to be praying for my life,” Aron Kohn, 65, who was inside the home on the time, instructed The New York Occasions. “He began attacking individuals instantly as quickly as he got here within the door. We did not have time to react in any respect.”
Among the many teams condemning the assault was the Republican Jewish Coalition.
“The political management in New York is not doing almost sufficient to guard its Jewish residents,” the Republican Jewish Coalition wrote on Twitter. “This has turn into a each day prevalence in NY. These assaults won’t be a handy speaking level for these on the left, however they nonetheless want to talk out.”
Monsey – a city of about 18,000 residents some 35 miles north of New York Metropolis – had seen a earlier assault simply final month, when a 30-year-old man on his method to morning prayers was crushed and stabbed, The Journal News of Rockland County reported.
In New York Metropolis, the NYPD’s Counterterrorism Bureau stated it was “intently monitoring” Saturday’s assault in Monsey, and the Anti-Defamation League of New York and New Jersey stated it was conscious of the assault and was sending representatives to the city.
Messages posted later by the Orthodox Jewish Public Affairs Council of the Hudson Valley stated that 5 individuals had been stabbed, together with one sufferer who was struck six instances, and that two of the victims have been in crucial situation. That message added that the suspect had been seen leaving in a grey Nissan Sentra car.
Police in Clarkstown, N.Y., additionally have been reporting that 5 individuals had been stabbed, WCBS reported.
Letitia James, the state legal professional common of New York, condemned the assault in a message posted on Twitter.
“I’m deeply disturbed by the state of affairs unfolding in Monsey, New York tonight,” James wrote. “There may be zero tolerance for acts of hate of any type and we are going to proceed to observe this horrific state of affairs.
New York Metropolis Mayor Invoice de Blasio additionally posted on Twitter round midnight Sunday.
“Horrific,” de Blasio wrote. “So many Jewish households in our metropolis have shut ties to Monsey. We can not overstate the concern persons are feeling proper now.
“I’ve spoken to longtime pals who, for the primary time of their lives, are fearful to indicate outward indicators of their Jewish religion,” he added.
“I’ve spoken to longtime pals who, for the primary time of their lives, are fearful to indicate outward indicators of their Jewish religion.”
Additionally earlier Saturday, U.S. Rep. Lee Zeldin, R-N.Y., wrote on Twitter that “feckless management” in New York Metropolis was partly in charge for the wave of anti-Semitism there.
“The violent anti-Semitic assaults in NYC are being attributable to uncooked hate, feckless management, a tradition of acceptance, training & promotion of anti-Semitism, & decreasing high quality of life,” Zeldin, from town’s Lengthy Island suburbs, wrote. “De Blasio & ALL elected and group leaders have to step as much as confront & crush this risk.”