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Black man, 37, pleads not guilty to 'stabbing 5 people at a Hanukkah party with a machete while completely silent then dousing himself in bleach' in an 'act of domestic terrorism'

Grafton, 37, pleaded not guilty to five counts of attempted murder and one count of burglary at an arraignment in Ramapo Town Court late Sunday morning. His bail was set at $5million. He is pictured leaving the court

  • Grafton Thomas, 37, of Greenwood Lake, pleaded not guilty to five counts of attempted murder and one count of burglary at an arraignment in Ramapo Town Court late Sunday morning, where his bail was set at $5million 
  • He allegedly stabbed five people at Rabbi Chaim Leibush Rottenberg's home in Monsey on Saturday night 
  • Witness Josef Gluck, one of the dozens of worshippers gathered at Rottenberg's home for a candle-lighting ceremony for the seventh night of Hanukkah, described the horror attack to DailyMail.com  
  • Gluck, 32, said the suspect entered silently and began swinging a large blade  
  • Onlookers threw tables and chairs in the assailant's path before chasing him out of the home 
  • He then tried to enter the neighboring Congregation Netzach Yisrael-Kosson before fleeing in a car
  • NYPD officers arrested Thomas 30 miles away in Harlem about two hours later 
  • State troopers were later seen marching Thomas out of the precinct in handcuffs before transporting him back to Rockland County, where he faces five counts of attempted murder and one count of burglary 
  • Local Hasidic community officials said the five victims, all Hasidic, were hospitalized, two in critical condition
  • New York Governor Andrew Cuomo branded the incident an act of domestic terrorism on Sunday morning 
Grafton E Thomas was arrested for allegedly stabbing five people inside a rabbi's home during a Hannukah celebration on Saturday night in Monsey, New York. He is pictured in his mugshot

Grafton E Thomas was arrested for allegedly stabbing five people inside a rabbi's home during a Hannukah celebration on Saturday night in Monsey, New York. He is pictured in his mugshot

A man accused of stabbing five people in a rabbi's home during a Hanukkah celebration in a predominantly Jewish town in upstate New York on Saturday night has pleaded not guilty. 

Grafton E Thomas, 37, of Greenwood Lake, was arraigned on five counts of attempted murder and one count of burglary in Ramapo Town Court late Sunday morning. His bail was set at $5million. 

Prosecutors say Thomas stormed into the home of Rabbi Chaim Leibush Rottenberg in Monsey at around 10pm and began wildly swinging a machete at dozens of worshippers gathered for a candle-lighting ceremony on the seventh night of Hanukkah. 

He stabbed multiple people as onlookers threw a coat rack, table and chair in his path and chased him out of the home, witness Josef Gluck told DailyMail.com. 

'He was silent. Deadly silent,' Gluck said of the assailant. 'Victims were screaming and panicking. It was chaos.' 

Thomas then tried to enter the synagogue next door, Congregation Netzach Yisrael-Kosson, but it was barricaded by people who had taken shelter inside. He then reportedly fled in a gray car, as seen in surveillance video.   

NYPD officers located him 30 miles away in Harlem about two hours later and he was taken into custody at the 32nd precinct. He was covered in blood and bleach at the time of his arrest. 

Officials were later seen marching Grafton, who is African American, out of the precinct in handcuffs before transporting him back to Rockland County.   

The Orthodox Jewish Public Affairs Council said the five victims, all Hasidic, were transported to local hospitals with stab wounds, two in critical condition. One man remained in critical condition midday Sunday after suffering a skull fracture. One of the victims is believed to be Rottenberg's son.

The attack appeared to be the latest in a string targeting Jews in the region, including a massacre at a kosher grocery store in New Jersey earlier this month and six other anti-Semitic incidents over the first seven nights of Hanukkah, which began on December 23. 

Governor Andrew Cuomo addressed reporters on Sunday morning and branded the Monsey incident an act of domestic terrorism. 

President Donald Trump also tweeted about the incident this afternoon, writing: 'The anti-Semitic attack in Monsey, New York, on the 7th night of Hanukkah last night is horrific. We must all come together to fight, confront, and eradicate the evil scourge of anti-Semitism. Melania and I wish the victims a quick and full recovery.' 


Monsey stabbing suspect led away in handcuffs after arraignment
Grafton, 37, pleaded not guilty to five counts of attempted murder and one count of burglary at an arraignment in Ramapo Town Court late Sunday morning. His bail was set at $5million. He is pictured leaving the court

Grafton, 37, pleaded not guilty to five counts of attempted murder and one count of burglary at an arraignment in Ramapo Town Court late Sunday morning. His bail was set at $5million. He is pictured leaving the court 

Thomas is seen leaving an arraignment at Ramapo Town Court on Sunday morning 

The defendant, dressed in a white jumpsuit and gray booties with his hands cuffed behind his back, was silent during his arraignment, except for briefly conferring with the public defender who entered his plea of not guilty

The defendant, dressed in a white jumpsuit and gray booties with his hands cuffed behind his back, was silent during his arraignment, except for briefly conferring with the public defender who entered his plea of not guilty

The suspected attacker stormed into the home of Rabbi Chaim Leibush Rottenberg at around 10pm and began wildly swinging a knife at some 60 worshippers gathered for a candle-lighting ceremony for the seventh night of Hanukkah

The suspected attacker stormed into the home of Rabbi Chaim Leibush Rottenberg at around 10pm and began wildly swinging a knife at some 60 worshippers gathered for a candle-lighting ceremony for the seventh night of Hanukkah

Witness Josef Gluck (pictured), one of the dozens of worshippers gathered at Rottenberg's home for a candle-lighting ceremony for the seventh night of Hanukkah, described the horror attack to DailyMail.com

Witness Josef Gluck (pictured), one of the dozens of worshippers gathered at Rottenberg's home for a candle-lighting ceremony for the seventh night of Hanukkah, described the horror attack to DailyMail.com

Governor Andrew Cuomo addressed reporters outside Rottenberg's home on Sunday morning and condemned the incident as an act of domestic terrorism

Governor Andrew Cuomo addressed reporters outside Rottenberg's home on Sunday morning and condemned the incident as an act of domestic terrorism

Congregants at Congregation Netzach Yisrael-Kosson are seen inside the synagogue hours after the attack on Sunday

Congregants at Congregation Netzach Yisrael-Kosson are seen inside the synagogue hours after the attack on Sunday

Gov Cuomo is seen leaving Rottenburg's home with the rabbi (second left) on Sunday morning

Gov Cuomo is seen leaving Rottenburg's home with the rabbi (second left) on Sunday morning

President Donald Trump tweeted about the attack on Sunday afternoon

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Comment by Natalie on December 30, 2019 at 9:23pm
If the man has not said anything how is this automatically an anti-Semitic attack or act of domestic terrorism...maybe he's just mentally ill and picked the first house he drove past with an open door. Something triggered him we just don't know what.
Comment by GospelPan on December 30, 2019 at 10:00am
Sufferah, I was thinking the same thing...still, this is not our land and we are a kidnapped people.
Comment by Sufferahsmusic Media Prod on December 30, 2019 at 3:00am
Damn notice how fast its terrorism when its us

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