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Family:Things Look 'Dire' for Victim of Anti-Semitic Attack

Relatives of 71-year-old Josef Neumann say he likely won't recover after Hanukkah stabbing
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 2, 2020 7:02 AM CST

(Newser) – Just one of five Jewish people stabbed at a Hanukkah celebration in upstate New York is still hospitalized, but his family says his condition is "dire" and it doesn't look like he'll recover. "Doctors are not optimistic about his chances to regain consciousness" says a statement from relatives of 71-year-old Josef Neumann, who remains in a coma following the Monsey, NY, attack on Saturday, per the New York Times. CBS News has a graphic image of Neumann, via the Orthodox Jewish Public Affairs Council. Neumann "was severely stabbed multiple times ... The knife penetrated his skull directly into the brain," the statement says. "He also suffered three cuts to the head, one cut to the neck, and his right arm has been shattered." The family adds even if Neumann lives, doctors think he'll be "partially paralyzed and speech-impaired" for life.

Suspect Grafton Thomas has pleaded not guilty to attempted murder and obstructing the free exercise of religion in an attempt to kill; if convicted of those charges, Thomas could see life in prison. If Neumann doesn't survive, however, federal prosecutors say he could get the death penalty, though the Times reports it's unlikely. Meanwhile, reports of another anti-Semitic attack out of Brooklyn: Per the New York Post, a law enforcement source says on New Year's Day, two African American women confronted a 22-year-old Hasidic Jew in Broadway Triangle, yelled "F--- you, Jew" and "I will kill you Jews," and pushed him to the ground when he tried to record them. They also allegedly broke his phone. The NYPD says two people are in custody. "Why do they keep doing this to us?" one Hasidic woman says. (More on Thomas here, including his phone searches.)

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