A person accused of storming right into a rabbi’s residence and stabbing 5 individuals as they celebrated Hanukkah in an Orthodox Jewish group north of New York Metropolis was raised to embrace tolerance however has a historical past of psychological sickness, his household mentioned.
“Grafton Thomas has a protracted historical past of psychological sickness and hospitalizations. He has no historical past of like violent acts and no convictions for any crime,” his household mentioned late Sunday in a press release issued by legal professional Michael Sussman.
“He has no identified historical past of anti-Semitism and was raised in a house which embraced and revered all religions and races. He’s not a member of any hate teams.
“We consider the actions of which he’s accused, if dedicated by him, tragically replicate profound psychological sickness,” the assertion mentioned.
“Lastly, we specific our deepest concern and prayers for these injured bodily and in any other case deeply affected by the occasions of Saturday night time.… We thank those that rendered medical consideration to every of these injured.”
1 critically wounded
Police tracked a fleeing suspect to Manhattan and made an arrest inside two hours of the assault Saturday night time in Monsey. Thomas had blood throughout his clothes and smelled of bleach however mentioned “virtually nothing” when officers stopped him, officers mentioned.
Republican President Donald Trump condemned the “horrific” assault, saying in a tweet Sunday that “We should all come collectively to combat, confront, and eradicate the evil scourge of anti-Semitism.”
The stabbings on the seventh night time of Hanukkah left one individual critically wounded, Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo mentioned. The rabbi’s son was additionally injured.
Thomas, 37, was arraigned Sunday and pleaded not responsible to 5 counts of tried homicide and one depend of housebreaking. Bail was set at $5 million US, and he stays jailed.
A lawyer representing Thomas on the arraignment mentioned he had no earlier felony convictions.
Scouring digital proof
The Greenwood Lake avenue the place Thomas lived together with his mom, about 30 kilometres from Monsey, was blocked with police tape Sunday as FBI brokers and law enforcement officials carried gadgets from their residence.
The FBI was looking for a warrant to acquire his on-line accounts and have been scouring digital proof, the official mentioned.
The assault was the newest in a string of violence concentrating on Jews within the area, together with a Dec. 10 bloodbath at a kosher grocery retailer in New Jersey. Final month in Monsey, a person was stabbed whereas strolling to a synagogue.
Cuomo mentioned Saturday’s savagery was the 13th anti-Semitic assault in New York since Dec. 8.
Based on the official briefed on the investigation, authorities don’t consider Thomas is related to current anti-Semitic incidents in New York Metropolis.
The Simon Wiesenthal Heart mentioned it desires the FBI to create a particular activity drive.
Monsey, close to the New Jersey state line about 55 kilometres north of New York Metropolis, is considered one of a number of Hudson Valley communities that has seen a rising inhabitants of Hasidic Jews in recent times.
At a celebration in Monsey on Sunday that was deliberate earlier than the capturing, a number of members of the group stood guard armed with assault-style rifles. They refused to provide their names when approached by an AP journalist, however they mentioned they have been there to defend their group.
“The Jewish group is completely terrified,” Evan Bernstein, the regional director of the Anti-Defamation League of New York and New Jersey, mentioned in a press release. “Nobody ought to should reside like this.”