Attacker at Rabbi's Home: 'Nobody's Going Anywhere'

Cuomo calls attack domestic terrorism
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 30, 2019 6:55 AM CST
Attacker at Rabbi's Home: 'Nobody's Going Anywhere'
Ramapo police officers escort Grafton Thomas from Ramapo Town Hall to a police vehicle, Sunday, Dec. 29, 2019, in Ramapo, NY.   (AP Photo/Julius Constantine Motal)

Chilling details have emerged from Saturday's stabbing attack during a Hanukkah celebration at a rabbi's home north of New York City. Police and witnesses say an attacker identified as Grafton E. Thomas closed the door of the Monsey home and told people "Nobody's going anywhere," reports the Washington Post. He then started stabbing and slicing people with a machete, injuring five Hasidic Jews. Josef Gluck tells the New York Times that the attacker screamed "I'll get you!" at him. But Gluck says people at the home fought back and threw furniture at the man. "I grabbed an old antique coffee table and I threw it at his face," Gluck says. Gluck took a photo of the attacker's license plate as he fled the scene, leading to the arrest of Thomas, still covered in blood, in Harlem hours later.

Lawmakers spoke out against the attack Sunday, with New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo calling it an act of domestic terrorism, the Wall Street Journal reports. New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio announced new efforts to crack down on anti-Semitism. Officials say only one of the five victims, an elderly man with a skull fracture, was still hospitalized Sunday afternoon. Thomas, who appeared in court Sunday morning, has been charged with five counts of attempted murder. He has a criminal record that includes an arrest for an assault, but family friends say he suffers from schizophrenia and has no history of anti-Semitism, the Times reports. "Grafton is not a terrorist," his pastor, the Rev. Wendy Paige, told reporters Sunday. "He is a man who has mental illness in America." (More hate crimes stories.)

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