A vicious stabbing attack in north New York suburbs in an orthodox Jewish community left five people injured, two of them critically. A man with a history of mental illness has been taken into custody as police continue to investigate the matter and the families of the victims await new developments.
The stabbing took place during the seventh day of the Hanukkah celebration inside the home of a rabbi, who was hosting the event this past Saturday. Around two hours after the disturbing incident, police arrested 37-year-old Grafton Thomas of Greenwood Lake after witnesses were able to take down his license plate number thus allowing him to be tracked down.
The family of the suspect told local outlet Mid Hudson News that Thomas has had issues with mental illness in the past but as far as they knew, he was not known to be violent nor has he been criminally charged in the past. Further, by way of an attorney, the family of Thomas said that he was not known to be part of any anti-Semitic hate groups and the like.
Thomas is facing five counts of attempted murder and one count of burglary after a court appearance on Sunday. He has pleaded not guilty and his bail is set at $5 million. The attorney representing Thomas will request a mental health evaluation.
In a report by the Washington Post, an official who shared details anonymously said that Thomas did have several run-ins with the law dating back to 2001, including assaulting a police horse.