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NY Gov.: Machete attack on Jewish Rabbi is ‘domestic terrorism’ after 5 injured

A police car. (Dreamstime/TNS)
December 29, 2019

A man stabbed and injured five people with a machete Saturday night at a Rabbi’s home in Monsey, NY where the victims were celebrating the seventh night of Hanukkah.

The victims were identified as Hasidic Jews and were wounded at the house of Rabbi Chaim Rottenberg, Fox News reported. The Rabbi’s son was among the victims and another victim who suffered wounds to the head reportedly remains in critical condition.

The attack occurred around 10 pm Saturday night.

A suspect, identified as Thomas Grafton, was arrested about two hours later in the early hours of Sunday morning, according to CNN. Grafton’s vehicle was spotted crossing the George Washington Bridge into New York City, and he was apprehended with “blood all over him” according to one law enforcement source.

Grafton was arrested near Harlem, NY.

Grafton will reportedly be arraigned Sunday morning on five counts of attempted murder and another county of first-degree burglary.

According to NBC, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, described the attack as an act of domestic terrorism and said the attack would be prosecuted accordingly.

“This was a despicable and cowardly act, and I am directing the State Police hate crimes task force to immediately investigate and to use every tool available to hold the attacker accountable to the fullest extent of the law,” Cuomo said in a press statement.

“Let me be clear: anti-Semitism and bigotry of any kind are repugnant to our values of inclusion and diversity and we have absolutely zero tolerance for such acts of hate,” Cuomo continued. “In New York we will always stand up and say with one voice to anyone who wishes to divide and spread fear: you do not represent New York and your actions will not go unpunished.”

The attack is one of several attacks in recent weeks against Jewish people in New York. It also comes after a deadly shootout in Jersey City, NJ inside a kosher deli, that resulted in the death of a police officer, both shooters and three more innocent people. The suspects in the Jersey City attack reportedly posted anti-semitic comments prior to the attack.