New York Hanukkah stabbing suspect indicted on 6 counts of attempted murder

ByEyewitness News WABC logo
Friday, January 3, 2020
New York Hanukkah stabbing suspect indicted on 6 counts of attempted murder
Marcus Solis has the latest on the New York Hanukkah stabbing suspect.

MONSEY, New York (WABC) -- A grand jury in Rockland County has returned an indictment against a Greenwood Lake man in connection with the Hanukkah stabbings at a rabbi's house in Monsey.

Grafton Thomas was indicted on six counts of second-degree attempted murder, three counts of first-degree assault, three counts of first-degree attempted assault, and two counts of first-degree burglary.

"The defendant has been charged with a violent and heinous crime," Rockland County District Attorney Thomas Walsh said. "This was an extremely brutal attack."

Authorities say Thomas violently attacked numerous individuals inside the home just before 10 p.m. on December 28, slashing at least six individuals with the intent to cause their deaths.

Previous accounts had listed only five victims.

Related: Family of New York Hanukkah attack victim calls for end to hatred

Thomas was being held in the Rockland County Jail but is now in a federal facility after federal hate crime charges were filed in the case.

Bail is set at $5 million, and he faces a maximum of 25 years in state prison if convicted.

Thomas is currently undergoing independent psychiatric evalution arranged by his lawyer, Michael Sussman.

Investigators say they found anti-Semitic materials in several journals and on the suspect's phone.

According to the criminal complaint, Thomas was in possession of handwritten journals that referred to Adolf Hitler and Nazi culture, as well as drawings of the Star of David and a Swastika. His internet browsing history also included several noteworthy searches, including "German Jewish Temples near me," "Why did Hitler hate the Jews?" and "Prominent companies founded by Jews in America."

On the night of the attack, the phone's internet browser was used to access an article titled: "New York City Increases Police Presence in Jewish Neighborhoods After Possible Anti-Semitic Attacks. Here's What To Know," the complaint said.

Thomas, a scarf covering his face, entered the rabbi's home, located next door to a synagogue, and said "no one is leaving," according to the complaint

It was an ambush that Governor Andrew Cuomo said Sunday was an act of domestic terrorism fueled by intolerance and a "cancer" of growing hatred in America.

Related: Under siege: Anti-Semitism grows in Jewish communities in New York City suburbs

Police tracked Thomas to Manhattan and made an arrest within two hours of the attack Saturday night in Monsey. Thomas had blood all over his clothing, smelled of bleach but said "almost nothing" when officers stopped him, officials said.


* More Northern Suburbs news

* Send us a news tip

* Download the abc7NY app for breaking news alerts

* Follow us on YouTube