Man Arrested After Five People Stabbed at Hanukkah Celebration in New York

The New York State Police’s hate crimes task force will be directed to investigate the attack, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced on Twitter early Sunday. He described the stabbing as a “despicable and cowardly act,”

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A man wielding a knife burst into a Hanukkah celebration at an Orthodox rabbi’s home in the town of Monsey, New York on Saturday evening, wounding five people.

Police captured the suspect, who they have identified as 37-year-old Grafton E. Thomas, in New York City hours after the attack. He has been charged with five counts of attempted murder and one count of burglary, according to the Town of Ramapo Police Department, which is investigating the case.

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The incident unfolded next to the rabbi’s synagogue in Monsey, a small town in Rockland County about 20 miles outside of New York City. Rockland County has the largest Jewish population per ca pita of any county in the United States, according to New York State. About 31.4% of the county’s residents are Jewish.

The attack comes amid growing concern about anti-Semitic hate crimes in New York and the surrounding region. In the most violent incident, four people were shot and killed in nearby Jersey City in an anti-Semitic attack that targeted a kosher deli on Dec. 10.

Just one month ago, an Orthodox man was stabbed in Monsey near a local synagogue.

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Shortly before 10 p.m. on Saturday, people had gathered at the home of Hasidic Rabbi Chaim Rottenberg next to his synagogue, Congregation Netzach Yisroel, to celebrate the seventh day of Hanukkah. Thomas allegedly burst into the gathering, according to police and the Orthodox Jewish Public Affairs Council, and stabbed five people, including one of the rabbi’s children.

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A witness, Josef Gluck, told the Associated Press that a man “came in wielding a big knife, sword, machete — I don’t know what it was.” Gluck told the AP that he hit the assailant with a coffee table.

Thomas fled in a car, but a witness spotted him driving away and gave the police his license plate number, said Ramapo Police Chief Brad Weidel, theAssociated Press reported. He was taken into police custody in New York City’s Harlem neighborhood. Weidel said the license plate number was “critical” to the arrest, the AP added.

Tiffany Harris was released on Saturday after punching and cursing at three Orthodox women on Friday.

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Tiffany Harris was released on Saturday after punching and cursing at three Orthodox women on Friday. Suspects arrested in last week’s spree of eight anti-Semitic attacks are being quickly released right back into the neighborhoods they terrorized thanks to “bail reform” legislation — which doesn’t even take effect until Jan. 1.
The most recent case of revolving-door justice came Saturday morning, with the release, with no bail, of a woman charged with punching and cursing at three Orthodox women, ages 22, 26 and 31, in Crown Heights, Brooklyn at dawn the day before.

 

Shooting at Church of Christ in Texas Leaves Two Dead

The church live-streams its services on YouTube, and Sunday’s shooting was captured.

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Two people are dead after a gunman opened fire Sunday at a church near Fort Worth, Texas, officials said. One victim died at the scene and another died en route to the hospital, MedStar told CBS News.   A third person is in critical condition.

The gunfire began just before 10 a.m. at West Freeway Church of Christ in White Settlement, a city outside Fort Worth. Inside, paramedics found three men with gunshot wounds, according to Macara Trusty, spokesperson for local ambulance service MedStar.

A witness told CBS Dallas / Fort Worth the gunman shot someone with a shotgun during communion and that he was then taken down by another church member.

“It was the most scariest thing. You feel like your life is flashing before you. I was so worried about my little one,” Isabel Arreola said. 

The church called West Freeway Church of Christ is located in White Settlement, in suburban Tarrant County.

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The church live-streams its services on YouTube, and Sunday’s shooting was captured. The video has since been taken offline, but it reportedly showed an armed man who appeared to be a security guard responding after the initial shots were fired.

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