NYPD officers honored for role in arresting Hanukkah machete attack suspect in Monsey

NEW CITY, New York (WABC) -- Two NYPD officers were honored for their work in arresting the suspect in the machete attack on Hanukkah celebrants in Monsey.

Officers Russell Mattera and David Radziwon were presented with a Distinguished Service Award, the Legislature's highest honor.

"Have you ever thanked a police officer for being in the line of duty?" Rockland County Legislator Aron Wieder asked. "If you did, you most definitely got the response, 'Well, I'm just doing my job.' But if your job is to apprehend and arrest a dangerous person armed with a machete and who just slashed innocent people, it is not just doing your job. It is putting your precious and one life in danger."

Josef Gluck, who fought with the attacker, then ran after him and got his license plate, also attended.

"These guys were heads up down there looking for the car," Ramapo police Chief Brad Weidel said. "They knew the car was coming into the city, which was critical with the LPR. That combination resulted in a really good outcome."

Rockland County, Ramapo, Stony Point, Clarkstown and Orangetown officials were all in attendance.

"It's really not about us, it's about the families and all of the victims that day," Radziwon said. "Hopefully they make a speedy recovery."

Mattera said that they are happy and humbled about the recognition.

"It was just police work," he said.

Grafton Thomas, 37, has been charged with five counts of attempted murder, burglary and federal hate crimes in connection to the December attack, in which five people were slashed with an 18-inch machete during a celebration at Rabbi Chaim Rottenberg's home.

Federal prosecutors say the alleged attacker was motivated by hatred toward Jews.

The victims of the rampage were also mentioned, including 72-year-old Yehosef Neumann who remains in a coma with extremely serious injuries.

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