The New York Police Department has apprehended a suspect believed to have stabbed half a dozen people in an anti-Semitic attack at a private Hanukkah party at a Rabbi’s home in Monsey, a suburb of New York City, Saturday evening.
The 37-year-old man is a resident of Greenwood Lake in Orange County, New York, and was captured after crossing the George Washington Bridge on his way into Manhattan. A license plate reader on the bridge snagged a photo of his vehicle, CNN reports, and law enforcement were able to follow the car through downtown New York City and into the Harlem neighborhood and arrest the man just after midnight. He was “covered” in the blood of his victims.
The attacker, who will not be named per Daily Wire policy, “is being held at police headquarters and will be arraigned Sunday on five counts of attempted murder and one count of first-degree burglary, Ramapo Police Chief Brad Weidel told reporters.” Photos of the suspect were released Sunday morning.
“The attack took place in the house of Hasidic Rabbi Chaim L. Rottenberg during a Hanukkah celebration, Michael Specht, supervisor of the town of Ramapo that also services Monsey,” according to a local NBC affiliate. “Ramapo Police Chief Brad Weidel said the suspected attacker entered the residence around 10 p.m. armed with a knife. Saturday was the seventh night of Hanukkah and was being widely observed in Monsey, a hamlet that is home to thousands of Orthodox Jews. There were as many as 70 people in the rabbi’s home at the time of the attack.”
One of the partygoers managed to get behind a table and throw it at the suspect, who then fled the residence. According to witness accounts, the suspect then tried to gain access to the synagogue next door, “but the occupants barricaded themselves inside. The assailant then fled the scene in a silver sedan.”
“An intruder came into Rabbi Rottenberg’s shul with a machete,” Forward Editor Avital Chizhik-Goldschmidt tweeted late Saturday. “There are no words to describe the anxiety of this moment. Someone on the scene: The perpetrator came into the rabbi’s house, started stabbing people. Someone took a small table, threw it at him & chased him out. He ran next door to the synagogue, but they blocked the door & he couldn’t get in. He turned around & ran, jumped into a car.”
At least five people were stabbed, including the Rabbi’s son. Two partygoers are believed to be critically injured. At least one of those critically injured sustained serious wounds to his face and neck.
The suspect is expected to be charged with at least five counts of attempted murder and one count of burglary.
Saturday night’s mass stabbing is just the latest in a string of anti-Semitic attacks that have taken place across the greater New York City area over the past several days, and also the latest in a years-long spate of anti-Semitic violence perpetrated against Jews living in the city. In just the last week, there have been at least nine separate incidents of anti-Semitic violence. In November, six people were killed after two anti-Semites opened fire in a Kosher market in New Jersey, and that attack could have been even worse: before they targeted the grocery store, the shooters tried to get into a Jewish elementary school.
New York governor Andrew Cuomo made a statement in response to Saturday’s attack, telling reporters that “[i]t’s important for me to express to the rabbi and to all the people of the state of New York that this is intolerance, meets, ignorance, meets illegality. This is violence spurred by hate, it is mass violence, and I consider this an act of domestic terrorism. These people are domestic terrorists, and the law should reflect that, and they should be punished as if it was an act of terrorism.”
The words seemed cold comfort to those most likely to be affected by the attacks.