Law Enforcement Believes Monsey Attack Suspect May Have Beaten and Stabbed a Jewish Man in November
by Benjamin Kerstein
Police believe the suspect in Saturday’s antisemitic stabbings in Monsey, New York, may have assaulted a Jewish man a month earlier in the same area.
According to The New York Post, law enforcement sources said Grafton Thomas, currently being held on five counts of attempted murder in connection to the Monsey attack, may have beaten and knifed a 30-year-old Jewish man in Monsey on Nov. 20.
The victim was set upon while walking to the Mosdos Meharam Brisk Tashnad religious center in the early hours of the morning. Beaten and repeatedly stabbed, his injuries were so extensive that police initially believed he had been the victim of a car accident.
Local paper The Rockland/Westchester Journal News quoted Rabbi Yisroel Kahan saying of the attack, “No words were exchanged and they pummeled him to the ground for several minutes.”
Police Chief Brad Weidel commented, “At this point … I am not willing to say it’s a hate crime. That doesn’t mean it won’t be established through our investigation it’s a hate crime.”
The victim was operated on several times and as of early December was considered to be in stable condition.
The FBI and other agencies became involved, the Journal News reported, and were aiding local authorities in enhancing surveillance video of the assault, though the footage was described as being of very low quality.
Thomas was arrested late Saturday night in Harlem after he fled the scene of the Monsey attack, in which he allegedly stabbed five Orthodox Jews gathered for a Hanukkah candle-lighting ceremony with a machete.