Prosecutors Add New Hate Crimes Charges in Stabbing of Boston Rabbi: ‘We Believe This Was Rooted in Antisemitism’
The alleged perpetrator of a brutal stabbing of a Boston Chabad rabbi was hit with new hate crimes charges on Thursday, local prosecutors said, disclosing new details about the man’s long-held antisemitic views.
On July 1, Khaled Awad stabbed Rabbi Shlomo Noginski at least eight times outside the Boston-area Jewish school where he teaches, after attempting to force the victim into his own car at gunpoint.
Awad was arrested shortly after the attack, and was charged the next day on seven counts, including assault with intent to murder.
Prosecutors have now added two new hate crimes charges, including a civil rights violation causing injury, and armed assault and battery to intimate with bodily injury.
“We are standing here today because we want the Jewish community to know that we believe this was rooted in antisemitism,” Suffolk County District Attorney Rachael Rollins told reporters on Thursday. “We are going to call that out and charge that specifically, and we want them to know they are safe.”
Prosecutor Margaret Hegarty said those who knew Awad came forward to report his views that “all Jews are stingy and evil” and that they “control the world.”
“The witnesses also noticed that the suspect would stereotype various differences in racial groups and behavior, which included whites, Blacks and that he was especially harsh on Jews,” Hegarty said.
The Boston Herald reported that Immigrations and Customs Enforcement is requesting that Awad, who is from Egypt, be held on suspicion of overstaying his student visa in the US.
Awad had pleaded not guilty to all charges, and will be held at a state hospital for evaluation, before a July 29 hearing to determine whether he will remain in custody. A psychologist told the court that Awad had a history of mental illness, the Herald said.
Former friends of Awad have testified to a record of disturbing antisemitic behavior.
The suspect’s ex-roommate Aidan Anderson, who is Jewish, said that he took out a restraining order against Awad after he attacked Anderson in their shared kitchen.
Noginski is recovering at home with family, and has said he considers his survival a “miracle.”
The victim’s brother, Benzion Laskin, told The Algemeiner that he had no doubt the attack was rooted in bigotry.
“I can’t see how it wasn’t,” Laskin said. “He didn’t try to get money, to get anything — he only wanted to harm and kill him.”