Federal Hate Crimes Charges Filed Against Monsey Stabbing Attack Suspect
Federal prosecutors have filed hate crimes charges against the suspect in Saturday’s antisemitic stabbing attack at a Hanukkah celebration in a rabbi’s home in Monsey, New York, in which five people were wounded, including two critically.
Grafton Thomas was arraigned on Sunday in a state court in Ramapo on five counts of attempted murder.
The hate crimes charges were added on Monday by the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York.
Handwritten journals confiscated from the suspect’s Greenwood Lake, New York, residence contained antisemitic sentiments including “referring to ‘Adolf Hitler’ and ‘Nazi culture'” as well as a drawing of a swastika, FBI agent Julie Brown said in the complaint.
She further noted his cell phone was used to search “Why did Hitler hate the Jews” on Nov. 9, Dec. 3, Dec. 7 and Dec. 16.
Brown also said the phone showed searches for Jewish synagogues in Elizabeth, New Jersey, and Staten Island, New York, both on Dec. 18, and for prominent American companies founded by Jews, on Dec. 27.
The following day, Dec. 28, the phone was used to access an article headlined “New York City increased police presence in Jewish neighborhoods after Possible Anti-Semitic Attacks. Here’s what’s to know.”
There was also a reference to the Black Hebrew Israelite movement, which one of the perpetrators of the Dec. 10 shooting attack on a kosher market in Jersey City, New Jersey, was affiliated with.
Thomas’ family said thorough his attorney on Monday that he had a long history of mental illness, no known history of antisemitism and no prior convictions for any crime.
He is due to return to court in Ramapo on Jan. 3.
Some of Thomas’ neighbors described him to The New York Times as an “unassuming person” who “did not appear troubled.”
Four of the five victims of the Monsey stabbings have been released after being treated at a local hospital. while one was still hospitalized with a skull fracture, The New York Times quoted officials as saying on Monday.