Police have arrested a man who stormed into a rabbi’s home and stabbed five people as they celebrated Hanukkah in an Orthodox Jewish community north of New York City. The stabbings on the seventh night of Hanukkah left one person critically wounded, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said. The rabbi’s son was also injured, he said.
Police tracked the suspect to Manhattan within two hours of the attack Saturday night in Monsey. Grafton E. Thomas had blood all over his clothing, smelled of bleach but said “almost nothing” when officers stopped him, officials said. An automated license plate reader alerted officers that the suspect’s car had crossed over the George Washington Bridge into New York City about an hour after the attack. Thomas was stopped and taken into custody about 20-30 minutes later, NYPD Commissioner Dermot Shea said.
Thomas, 37, was arraigned Sunday and pleaded not guilty to five counts of attempted murder and one count of burglary. Bail was set at $5 million and he remains jailed. Authorities have not provided a motive and NYPD Commissioner Shea said at this point, investigators do not believe that any other people were involved in the attack.
President Donald Trump condemned the “horrific” attack, saying in a tweet Sunday that “We must all come together to fight, confront, and eradicate the evil scourge of anti-Semitism.”