5 stabbed by intruder at rabbi’s home
Five people were stabbed in an attack at a rabbi’s home during a Hanukkah celebration on Saturday night, police said.
The attack, which took place shortly before 10 p.m., was at a home in Monsey, New York, a predominantly Orthodox Jewish community about 30 miles north of New York City.
A man who answered the door during the celebration said he was confronted by someone wielding a knife so big that it was “almost like a broomstick,” before the person ran past him and began attacking those inside.
Celebrants said the event had more than 100 participants, all of them members of the ultra-Orthodox Hasidic sect.
An official with the local police department in Ramapo posted on social media that the suspect in the attack had fled the scene but was now in custody.
“I asked, who is coming in, in the middle of the night, with an umbrella?” said Aron Kohn, who greeted the suspect at the front door. “While I was saying that … right away, boom, he pulled out the knife from the holder, from the case. And I’m throwing tables and chairs, that he should get out of here.”
Kohn said the unidentified man ran past him, into a large room, where he attacked those inside.
“I saw him stabbing people,” Kohn said. “He injured a guy, he was bleeding [from his neck], he was bleeding in his hand, all over.”
Asked if the intruder had said anything to him when he met him at the door, Kohn said, “He said something but I couldn’t hear what he said.”
Kohn said he exited the house with “two ladies there, they came along with me, they were hysterical.” He said that the attacker then left the house and tried to run into the synagogue building adjacent to the house, but the synagogue was locked.
All five stabbing victims were taken to area hospitals after the attack, authorities said.
During a press briefing after the attack, Ramapo Police Chief Brad Weidel said that authorities were searching for a gray 2015 Nissan Sentra connected to the incident. The vehicle was later located in Harlem, police said.
The department subsequently announced online that a suspect had been apprehended, but gave no further details.
The attack came a day after New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio announced that the New York Police Department was stepping up patrols at several synagogues in the city following a spate of anti-Semitic attacks over the past two weeks.
Three women were allegedly slapped Friday morning by another woman who said she thought they were Jewish, four days after surveillance video showed a 40-year-old man in traditional Jewish clothing being punched in the face.
“Anti-Semitism is an attack on the values of our city — and we will confront it head-on,” de Blasio said in a social media post Friday evening.