Alleged Monsey stabber indicted on 6 attempted murder charges

Suspect in Hanukkah celebration stabbings Thomas Grafton, 37 years old from Greenwood Lake, leaves the Ramapo Town Hall in Airmont, New York after being arrested on December 29, 2019.(Kena Betancur / AFP)

Marcy Oster

(JTA) — A grand jury in Rockland County, New York, has indicted the alleged Monsey stabber on six attempted murder charges.

The charges against Grafton Thomas announced on Friday included six counts of attempted murder in the second degree, three counts of assault in the first degree, three counts of attempted assault in the first degree and two counts of burglary in the first degree.

Thomas, 37, was arrested following the Dec. 28 attack at the home of Rabbi Chaim Rottenberg. One of the victims, Josef Neumann, 71, is fighting for his life as a result of injuries to his head and brain caused. Thomas denies stabbing anyone, and his family says he suffers from mental illness.

Thomas earlier had pleaded not guilty to five counts of attempted murder and a judge set his bail at $5 million. He faces a maximum of 25 years in state prison.


The stabbings also carry a federal hate crimes charge of obstruction of free exercise of religious beliefs involving an attempt to kill.

In a criminal complaint, FBI Special Agent Julie Brown said investigators found journal pages written by Thomas that “express anti-Semitic sentiments.”

But Thomas’ family, in a statement released by his attorney, Michael Sussman, said the suspect “has no known history of anti-Semitism and was raised in a home which embraced and respected all religions and races.”