MONSEY, N.Y. — The man arrested in connection to the stabbing of five people during a Hanukkah celebration at a rabbi’s home in Rockland County has pleaded not guilty to attempted murder and burglary charges.
Grafton Thomas, 38, was taken into custody after midnight Sunday moments after he crossed the George Washington Bridge into New York City, authorities said.
Ramapo officers picked him up and transported him upstate, the spokeswoman said. Monsey is a hamlet located in the town of Ramapo in Rockland County near the border between New York and New Jersey.
Video shows the moment Thomas was apprehended by NYPD officers.
Calm and professional in the face of danger.— Commissioner Shea (@NYPDShea) December 29, 2019
Watch the moment that @NYPD32Pct officers take a suspect from last’s night heinous attack at a Hanukkah celebration into custody. https://t.co/AX9tpari34 pic.twitter.com/4K2KKdr7CU
Officers responded to reports of a stabbing a Rabbi Rottenburg’s Monsey residence around 10 p.m. Saturday, authorities said.
At least 100 people were at the residence celebrating the seventh night of Hanukkah when Thomas pulled out a knife that was “almost like a broomstick.”
Five people were injured. The extent of their injuries and their identities were not immediately known, but Gov. Andrew Cuomo said at a news conference Sunday morning that the rabbi’s son was one of the victims and is recovering. Cuomo said another victim is still in “very serious…critical” condition, with wounds to the head.
The judge set the alleged attacker’s bail at $5 million. Thomas is due back in court January 3.
This attack in the suburbs comes as the NYPD is stepping up security measures in Jewish neighborhoods within the five boroughs after a series of hate crimes against Jewish people over the past weeks.
Following the recent attacks, NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio and NYPD Police Commissioner Dermot Shea announced new safety measures will take place across the city to make combat anti-Semitic attacks such as more police presence in predominantly Jewish neighborhoods and an added curriculum about hate crimes in city schools.