(December 30, 2019 / JNS) The suspect behind the machete attack on Saturday night at a home and prayer hall known as Rabbi Rottenberg’s Shul in Monsey, N.Y., slashing and injuring five of the around 100 celebrants at a Hanukkah candle-lighting party, is mentally ill, according to his family.
“Grafton Thomas has a long history of mental illness and hospitalizations,” said his family in a statement on Sunday night. “He has no history of like violent acts and no convictions for any crime. He has no known history of anti-Semitism and was raised in a home which embraced and respected all religions and races. He is not a member of any hate groups.”
Thomas, 37, was charged with five counts of attempted murder and one count of burglary.
His bail was set to $5 million and he is being held at Rockland County Jail.
The Dec. 28 attack was the latest in a streak of 13 anti-Semitic incidents since Dec. 8, according to New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio.
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