Police say no evidence tying Hanukkah attack suspect to earlier Monsey stabbing
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Police say no evidence tying Hanukkah attack suspect to earlier Monsey stabbing

Police chief in area says vehicle from November incident similar to car owned by Grafton Thomas’s mother, but no positive link has been made

Ramapo police officers escort Grafton Thomas, the suspect in a stabbing spree at a rabbi's home in Monsey, from Ramapo Town Hall to a police vehicle, December 29, 2019, in Ramapo, New York. (AP Photo/Julius Constantine Motal)
Ramapo police officers escort Grafton Thomas, the suspect in a stabbing spree at a rabbi's home in Monsey, from Ramapo Town Hall to a police vehicle, December 29, 2019, in Ramapo, New York. (AP Photo/Julius Constantine Motal)

JTA — There is no evidence to link the accused attacker of Jews at a rabbi’s home in Monsey last weekend to a November stabbing in the area, local police said.

Brad Weidel, the chief of the Town of Ramapo Police Department, which covers Monsey, New York, said this Thursday following reports that Grafton Thomas was questioned in connection with the stabbing close to a synagogue near Monsey that left an Orthodox Jewish man critically injured, according to the Forward.

Weidel said the car of Thomas’ mother matched the description of a vehicle seen on security footage in Monsey around the time of the earlier attack, but no positive link has been made.

Thomas was arrested in the Saturday night attack at the home of Rabbi Chaim Rottenberg, which left five people injured. One of them, 71-year-old Josef Neumann, is fighting for his life as a result of injuries to his head and brain caused by a machete. Thomas denies stabbing anyone, and his family says he has mental illness.

Neumann’s daughter told reporters Thursday that Jews in the area long for their feeling of safety to be restored.

“We want our kids to go to school and feel safe,” Nicky Cohen told reporters in front of her home in Rockland County. “We want to go to synagogues and feel safe. We want to go to grocery stores and malls and feel safe.”

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