Sunday Live Blog With Latest Updates On Monsey Attack

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YWN IS LIVE BLOGGING THE LATEST UPDATES FOLLOWING THE MONSEY STABBING ATTACK AT RABBI ROTTENBERG’S SHUL.

SCROLL DOWN FOR EARLIER UPDATES. 

REACAP: A knife-wielding man stormed into the Monsey home of the Kossoner Rebbe (Rabbi Rottenberg) and stabbed five people as they celebrated Chanukah, an ambush the governor said Sunday was an act of domestic terrorism fueled by intolerance and a “cancer” of growing hatred in America.

Police tracked a fleeing suspect to Manhattan and made an arrest within hours of the attack Saturday night in Monsey. Grafton E. Thomas had blood all over his clothing and smelled of bleach when officers stopped him, prosecutors said.

Thomas, 37, was arraigned Sunday and pleaded not guilty to five counts of attempted murder and one count of burglary. Bail was set at $5 million and he remains jailed.

UPDATE 6:35PM: The suspect sccused of going on a stabbing rampage in Monsey is “not a terrorist” – he’s just “mentally ill”. This is according to family which spoke to  the NY Post.

Grafton Thimas- is “not a violent person,” according to his pastor of 10 years, Reverend Wendy Paige of the Hudson Highlands Cooperative Parish.

“Grafton is not a terrorist, he is a man who has mental illness in America and the systems that be have not served him well,” Paige said.

“I have been his pastor for a long time and I have seen him, he is not a violent person, he is a confused person.”

–@YWN via NY PostNY Post

UPDATE 3:45PM: Authorities are investigating whether Grafton Thomas, the man charged in a machete attack in Monsey last night, is tied to the recent brutal assault and stabbing in Monsey that has been unsolved. In that stabbing, a 29-year-old Mordechai Schlesinger was stabbed as he walked to Shul early one morning.

UPDATE 3:00PM: There is a Hachnosos Sefer Torah going to Scheiner’s Shul in Monsey, and stopped by Rabbi Rottenberg’s house in Forshay – as dozens of nations media outlets filmed the event.

UPDATE 1:35PM: NYS Senator Simcha Felder, Assemblyman Simcha Eichenstein, Councilman Chaim Deutsch, Councilman Kalman Yeger just sent this letter to NY Governor Cuomo moments ago.

UPDATE 1:30PM: A highly credible law-enforcement source tells YWN that the Monsey stabbing attack suspect ,Thomas E. Grafton, is a RECENT MUSLIM CONVERT.

UPDATE 11:49: Famed Saudi Arabian blogger and Twitter influencer Muhammad Saud sends a message in YIDDISH to Jews in NY following last night’s attack in Monsey. Saud sent his message via video.

UPDATE 11:25AM – CHILLING EYEWITNESS ACCOUNT: Yosef Eli Glick saved many lives last night. Watch this chilling firsthand account of the horror that went on at the home of Rabbi Rottenberg in Monsey during last nights stabbing attack.

UPDATE 10:00AM: The suspect in the Monsey has been named as Thomas E. Grafton, 37, of Greenwood Lake, NY, which is about 20 miles away from Monsey in Orange County.

He was apprehended with “blood all over him.”

Some media outlets reported the suspect’s name as Thomas Grafton or Thomas E. Grafton, but public records reveal it to be Grafton E. Thomas.

He was arraigned Sunday afternoon in Ramapo town court on five counts of attempted murder and one count of burglary. Justice Rhoda Schoenberger ordered Thomas held on $5 million bail, Ramapo Town Supervisor Michael Specht tweeted. Schoenberger ordered Thomas to return to court January 3.

Thomas pleaded not guilty to all five counts of murder and the one count of burglary. Bail is set to $5 million. He will return to Ramapo Town Court Friday, Jan. 3 at noon.

Law-enforcement sources say Grafton has several previous arrests on his record, including one for punching a police horse.

Public records show that Thomas lives in a house on Lake Drive that has been owned by a relative since 2001. He previously lived in Brooklyn, New York, records show.

[CHANUKAH ATTACK IN MONSEY: Black Man Arrested In Harlem After Stabbing 5 With Machete At Shul [UPDATED 5:15AM]

[WATCH: NY Gov Cuomo Visits Rabbi Rottenberg’s House – BUT HE JUST SIGNED BAIL REFORM!]

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49 COMMENTS

  1. US Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (Democrat NY) is %100 right. These Trump voters are evil out of control animals. This Mr. Grafton is a perfect example. Trump should resign immediately. It’s a shame Ms. Gillibrand dropped out of the Presidential race. She would of stopped all hate from the world.

  2. Every single Jewish school in the USA needs an armed, muscular guard at EVERY point of entry! (not an old man sitting in the car or in the office…) I know that that’s not the way this attack was perpetrated, but since we see that our community is no longer considered safe, we must first protect our most vulnerable.

  3. 1.TG he went South into NYPD territory they’re equipped & caught him quickly. TY to brave cops who took him down.
    2. Yes he’s got mental issues attacking animal
    3. NYC Shuls trained congregants TEN years ago in concealed carry and 2 are present at every service/event. This needs to be the new norm in all shuls/schools & businesses. Train teachers, shopkeepers…

  4. If the government does not stop this ASAP, then the left could start doing this against the conservative right and start a war in all progressive cities. Look at the killing of R Kahane. If the government would have done it’s job, they would have caught the bombers of the world trade center.
    The government needs to put in all necessary will and capital to stop this now. Else, we could face a fight from the left against conservative America using this idea.

  5. He is already out on bail. OUTRAGEOUS. Every person who attacks a Jew SHOULD BE BEATEN UP HALF TO DEATH.
    That might help. They are getting away with it.
    I say, these are wake up calls from Hashem.
    One Rabbi said it best: Every one knows what they need to fix.

  6. A shooting just happened in texas and guess what happened to that crazy person? He was shot by someone carrying.

    That’s the only way these maniacs can be controlled. Good people with guns need to be common place.

  7. conservative1, the government will never stop this. In any history of any country governments never protected their own people. They are not capable or sometimes are willing accomplices. That is why we have 2nd Amendment in USA.

  8. NYC mayor DeBlasio says these attacks are th efault of whit e supremacists encouraged by Pres. Trump; New York Magazine (this New York! magazine) front cover has a person in KKK costume. Therefore all the “intelligent” people who follow the “political correctness” of our liberal media and liberal politicians must believe that this attack was perpetrated by a White Supremacist wearing blackface in order to also target Blacks.

    Shumer says is is “Shomer Yisroel. What a joke! When he first ran for offivce many many years ago, on Shabbos he together with his brother would walk the streets telling Jew to remember to vot e for Shumer as in “Shomer Shabbos”. He was had no resemblance to Shomer Shabbos then and he has none to Shomer Yisroel now!

  9. ravs daughter-
    it takes about a year in NYC to.traim for and receive a carry license as an armed guard. unless we figure out a way to convince city hall to change that fact, we are stuck. hired armed guards cost about 60 an hour.

  10. From crownheights.info: (speaks for itself)
    Grafton Thomas, the man who allegedly went on a stabbing attack in Monsey Motzei Shabbos injuring five, has his childhood roots in Crown Heights.

    The neighbor shared a story of an incident during his childhood where his father had cleaned the front of his home of garbage and debris, so as not to receive a ticket from the Department of Sanitation. Soon after, a Sanitation officer arrived on the block, citing homes for garbage in front of homes. Richard Baynes was heard shouting that Jews always knew when the officers would be coming by to give tickets.

  11. A recent concert to Islam? Mentally ill? Anyone who would convert to Islam is mentally ill. Wonder if he was talked into converting while under psychiatric care? Are Muslims targeting mental patients, like they do prisoners? That needs to be investigated.

  12. @yid18 — Though bail is set at the very high amount of $5M, most likely the maximum the judge can set, I don’t see him “making bail” any time soon. I haven’t seen anything reporting that he “posted bail”, so most likely this horrible monster will never see the light of day again as a free man! Please tell me if I missed something, i.e. if someone posted that kind of money on his behalf… I certainly hope not! If you haven’t seen anything either, I wouldn’t worry about him getting out on bail as amounts like this are specifically setup to keep the offender behind bars. I commend the judge on taking it so seriously!

  13. First, does anybody know yet with any kind of certainty if this crime is related to the other recent heinous stabbing in Monsey? I’m sure that the Ramapo PD detectives, aided by other offices, will find a connection if it exists. They certainly have been doing their jobs well, very well, to say the least.

    Now, My dear brothers and sisters, I personally grew up less than a quarter mile from the site of the previous stabbing, and I am still in shock, and enraged, sure 25 years ago when walking to and from Yeshiva on Route 306 there would be anti-Semitic remarks being shouted from the occasional car passing by with the possibility of being “egged”. This is a different Monsey altogether, great in some ways, frightening in others. One never wants to voluntarily live in a “combat zone”, and the temperature of the culture in our country is definitely changing for the worse. We need to act now, may it be learning a firearm, and getting a concealed carry licensed to protect others, including the children at your Shul. You may be able to volunteer with Hatzolah, as I did for many years and it was one of the most rewarding organizations that I could have ever hoped to volunteer with, though it’s definitely not for everybody (and FYI, we are very good at screening potential members). There are many other good ways to help our communities as this is now a widespread problem, either with an organization, or as an individual. You may cry out to Hashem with all your heart to fix this, but most of all, let’s think back to the Gemara in Gitten that we “learn” on Tisha B’Av (which must be pretty important if that’s the only Torah we may “learn” on that auspicious day which occurs but once a year), we must realize why we are where we are (read: golus), that it is in-fact temporary, that only we (read: by being unified the way we should always be) can fix this, and that Moshiach could come anytime day or night, bringing either a giant gift, or some not-so-nice news. So, let’s opt for the first option, through our unity in our namesake Klal Yisrael, and show the world who we are, the strength of our ancestry, and our unity despite our differences. Only we can make the change, and the time is now!

    Very truly yours,

    A Desperate Jew

  14. Yid 18: ” He is already out on bail. OUTRAGEOUS…”

    Yid 18: He is NOT out on bail. Nor will he ever be out on bail. This animal is in prison and will stay there until his trial. If you think your lying is funny, its not.

  15. “He looks like white supremacist that happened to be Trump supporter.”

    I was annoyed until I realized his was a sarcastic response to all the people who blame Trump for this sort of thing. (As an aside, it’s not unheard of for African Americans to support Trump.)

  16. Most mentally ill people are a danger to no one but themselves, and it’s perhaps unfair to them to blame this on mental illness. Seriously, how often do you hear about mentally ill people attacking random strangers? (Serial killers are generally not diagnosed with mental illness, though they may have personality disorders.)

  17. mentally ill or not…
    you try to kill someone- you’re off the streets!!
    what’s so difficult to understand..
    The neighbors and pastors could talk as they please.
    This guy should not see the light of day!

  18. @Gadolhadorah — My guess is that @yid18 is either too young to understand what the article means by “setting bail”, or s/he may not have English as a first language, e.g. in their case, one who uses Yiddish so heavily throughout their daily life and/or along with too little secular education. Therefore, I am **hoping** that @yid18 may have falsely assumed that “setting bail” equates to “posting bail”, rather than trying to spread an outright fallacy via his/her reply. I certainly hope that this is the case, but ignorance is ignorance however It is presented.

    Awesome wordplay in your username, BTW!

    One more thing, I will leave this post on something a good friend of mine once said (read: he attaches it to the signature line of ALL of his personal e-mails to ensure that EVERYONE will read it):

    “If you think that education is expensive, try ignorance”
    (How very fitting to the overall theme, wouldn’t you agree?!)

  19. Nobody here is able to determine whether he’s mentally ill, but his criminal record includes punching a police horse, which is kind of unusual behavior. In any case, the insanity defense rarely succeeds. The only case I can think of where it worked was John Hinckley, who was confined to a mental hospital for 30+ years.

  20. I am frankly in utter disbelief regarding some of the rumors going around on the Internet this evening relating to a connection between the two Monsey stabbing incidents!!! I will obviously not be sharing any of this fairytale nonsense, but it seems that some people just have way too much time on their hands! It’s well crafted writing, that’s for certain, however why spread lies to a scared public hungry for the truth?!?!?!

    Here are my takeaways:

    1. The authors must not have kids. Anyone with children will not have the creative energy to coordinate such spin so early in the day, or morning for that matter!
    2. It wouldn’t surprise me if anti-semites are adding to the “rumor mill” as if they haven’t caused enough chaos. It’s classic psychological warfare techniques to instill fear in your enemy via propaganda.
    3. I’m just gonna come out and say it, the same thing that I tell my kids, and something that is unfortunately a necessity in this political climate where many news outlets have instead sadly become entertainment channels. I say:

    FACT CHECK, FACT CHECK, FACT CHECK!!!

    This means to know your sources, to understand how to get first hand information that has not yet become diluted, to look for recent original unedited quotes that are also preferably non-edited. It means to learn how to read reports, may they be financial, medical, legal, or anything else. It means to get your news from a trusted source, and not from corporate news brands named after sly little animals. It also means to understand that “common sense” is actually NOT THAT COMMON. Well. You all get the idea. I just had to vent for a minute or two about this. The bottom line is that these fallacies are affecting others lives, and those producing this proverbial trash need to immediately and without any hesitation get a heart, a brain, and some courage while taking those first steps on the road to becoming an honest human being!

  21. SERIOUSLY…. What evidence is there, if any, that suggest this incident was anti-Semitic?? I mean other than the victims being Jewish?
    Is it possible, just maybe, the man was desperate and trying to BURGLARIZE SOME PEOPLE DURING THE HOLIDAY SEASON?

    @yid18-what is “it” exactly that “they” need to fix?? And what exactly is so ridiculous about bail? Then you say he’s in prison where he will stay.. Are we not innocent until proven guilty? Does he not have the right to a trial?

    Also… Is there anybody in these comments that find it quite alarming that the mayor not wants to add a fuck load of police to to basically protect one group of people while at the same time investigating/harassing another? Are we advocating a modern day cointelpro here?

    @mommy10- islamophobic much?

    I’m not Muslim or Jewish. Nor am I Catholic, Christian, Jehovah witness, or any other kind of organized religion. From the outside looking in it sounds like some people here are calling for persecution/continued genocide of a certain group of people, yet at the same time claiming victim.

  22. For all the worries out there
    I know the judge she is Jewish
    She’s a ruff one
    Don’t worry guys
    She already started with 5 counts of murder + 5 million on bail (never heard such)
    This ‘mentally unstable’ was able to drive off 30 miles safely
    Will be looking out for his sentence
    It not going to be like the ones we used to
    This dude dose not have enough days in his life for the timing he will serve
    It will a lesson for all hombres out there
    Don’t mass with the Jews

  23. I have advice for his pastor and all similar people of influence that have knowledge about “troubled people.”
    We use all kinds of precautions in our lives daily just to assure that tragic accidents do not happen.
    I’m sure his pastor does as well.
    Do we hold others (the legal agencies and publicly funded agencies and institutions) as being responsible for making sure that these precautions are followed?
    Of course not!
    The pastor, who had knowledge that this person was as she says was “troubled,” had a very serious responsibility to uphold the precautions and make sure that this person did not descend into other types of “mental illness.”
    She and his family are therefore responsible in some degree for this horror.
    It’s not at all reasonable for public agencies to keep total track of all mentally unstable people.
    Family, community leaders, and friends must play their role.
    I find it very disturbing that a community leader, such as her, uses this terror attack to blame the inefficiency of the government.
    I have every right to, just as well, blame her.
    But really, why not blame the person who perpetrated the attack?
    Why not blame a society that allows and demands the right to use public forums to demonize groups of people?
    She is a very poor example for a “religious leader”…disgusting!

  24. This Reverend Wendy Paige belongs to the United Methodist church that was involved in backing BDS for years until 2016 when they backed out off it. Yet again in 2017,the church’s official position was to defend the right of it’s congregants to Boycott Divest and sanction. Of course she days he isn’t a terrorist. He was just applying BDS. That kalva needs to be exposed for the anti semite she is. She probably indoctrinated this monster

  25. He’s mentally ill…but he was able to single out a synogogue miles away from his home, instead of public places where he lives, stores, churches and the like…Of course he’s mentally ill, every Jew hater is. He’s a murderer who knew exactly what he’s doing and he has to pay for his crimes.

  26. Random3X unfortunately you are wrong.

    If you read the news regularly you will read about random attacks on strangers in the Subways and elsewhere
    by the mentally ill. Part of the Progressive credo is not locking up the mentally ill and not giving them the treatment and support they need.

    If this murderer is truly mentally ill which needs to be proven beyond doubt,. he should be locked up in a mental health facility for the rest of his life. If he isn’t then life without parole since U believe NY State does not have the death penalty unfortunately.

  27. Speaking of mental illness. What are you gonna do about malkah Leifer who is also claiming mental illness after molesting dozens of girls while she was principle in Israel and Australia?

  28. There’s this famous story of this guy who came to the Ropshitzer Z”L, lamenting that his son “went crazy” since he eats Pig and dances with strange women. To which the Rebbe replied, “If he’d been eating women and dancing with Pigs I would agree with you that he went ‘Crazy’, but he’s not crazy just simply a sinner. If Thomas would’ve killed his own people/family I might buy the ‘insanity’ claim…

  29. 1. A “ Mentally Ill” person would just act crazy Near his home on a whim. He Could NOT: PLAN a Destination FAR DISTANCE from his home, PREPARE a Weapon that would cause lots of bloodshed, COVER his face with a Head scarf to hide his identity, Get in a Car and have gotten directions to DRIVE to a specific far location, PARK the Car, DELIBERATELY enter a JEWISH SHUL, SLASH People Violently, Get Back into his Car, DRIVE BACK Far Destination to his Neighborhood- ALL THIS TAKES PLANNING AND PRESENCE OF MIND.

    2. The Media is Hiding the Fact that BLACK SUPREMACIST Groups, at Colleges and Churches are Inciting Hateful Rhetoric And Lies against Jews (Like Obama’s Reverend Wright’s as you can see in videos, and many other viral videos of Black Supremacists) There is a Viral Video on Twitter Showing a Black Woman in Church blaming Jews for Obesity in Black women, and for Slavery.

    This Attacker was TAUGHT TO HATE JEWS. Don’t let media or neighbors Cover up about this!

    3. Democrats are trying to use the anti Semitic attacks to smear Trump, when Pres Trump has signed great Federal Legislation aimed at eradicating antisemitism Including especially on College Campuses where it has become a Cancer!

    Curtis Sliwa Said it Best: The Democrats have Themselves to Blame because they have Signed Laws to RELEASE CRIMINALS BACK TO THE STREETS, Including HATE CRIME Criminals! The recent wave of attacks were by BLACK SUPREMACISTS and HOODLUMS who Punch Jews in Streets, Shoot at Jews, Stab Jews, Curse Jews! HOLD DEMOCRATS ACCOUNTABLE!!

  30. Malka leifer needs to be locked in a mental institution. she is a danger. and this attacker is not so mentally ill that he didn’t know what he is doing. many americans have mental illness they don’t hurt people. I think he was a conspiracy theorist. he said voices told him to do this.