Jewish Former Roommate Took Out Restraining Order After Being Attacked by ‘Very Antisemitic’ Man Who Stabbed Boston Rabbi
The man accused of stabbing a Boston rabbi on Thursday in a suspected antisemitic hate crime was described by his former college roommates and friends as a violent individual who was viciously racist against Jews.
Khaled Awad stabbed Rabbi Shlomo Noginski repeatedly in the arm outside a Jewish school on Thursday in the Boston neighborhood of Brighton after attempting to abduct him at gunpoint.
Eric Valiente, who befriended Awad at the University of Southern Florida while Awad was studying chemical engineering there, described Awad as “violent” and “very much antisemitic,” Boston’s local CBS affiliate CBS4 reported.
Awad “would say like all types of Jewish jokes,” Valiente said. “I thought he was joking at first and then I started to see seriousness in his comments.”
Valiente said he became “disgusted” with Awad and “was a little scared of him. I was scared of what he was capable of because I realize he was a very dark person.”
Awad’s former roommate Aidan Anderson, who is Jewish, said, “We were friends, to be honest with you. I’m Jewish. And he knew that since I moved in.” But he said their relationship took a dark turn when Awad attacked him in their shared kitchen.
Anderson then moved out and got a restraining order against Awad.
Rabbi Noginski has left the hospital and is currently recovering at home, according to CBS4.
He released a video statement on Saturday after Shabbat, saying he was “feeling relatively well, although still in pain.”
Nonetheless, Noginski said, “it could have been so much worse.”
“It is also especially important that the assailant encountered me, and I was therefore able to divert his attention from the school and the children,” he added.
Noginski said he was hoping to return to work soon, and sought to send a positive message to others “that the way to respond to darkness and evil is by increasing in acts of goodness and kindness.”
The Associated Press reported that Awad was arraigned on Friday and is being held without bail.
He pleaded not guilty to assault and battery by means of a dangerous weapon and assault and battery on a police officer.
It was revealed that while Awad has no criminal record in Massachusetts, he was charged with battery and theft in Florida and confined to a mental health facility for a time.
District Attorney Rachael Rollins said that authorities have opened a civil rights investigation to determine if Awad committed a hate crime.
“We have to recognize that antisemitism is on the rise, and we need to hold people accountable when they do this, so that they are made an example of,” she said.
Fox News reported Saturday that Awad, who is originally from Egypt and is not a US citizen, was in the country illegally, having overstayed his student visa by over a month.
Immigration and Customs Enforcement told Fox News that “Khaled Awad, 24, a citizen of Egypt, entered the United States on a student visa in August 2019. However, he failed to stay enrolled as required by law, resulting in a loss of legal status in the US on May 14, 2021.”