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Suspect arraigned after knife rampage at rabbi’s home

An attacker stabbed five people late on Saturday (December 28) at a Hasidic rabbi’s home in New York state and fled before being arrested, a rampage that came after days of increased tension over anti-Semitic assaults.

Authorities said the suspect, 37-year-old Grafton Thomas from Greenwood Lake, New York, was arrested in Manhattan after fleeing the site of the attack in the small town of Monsey by car.

He was arraigned on five counts of attempted murder and ordered held on $5 million bail, Ramapo town supervisor Michael Specht said on Twitter. Thomas is due back in court Jan. 3.

All five victims were taken to hospitals, the Orthodox Jewish Public Affairs Council (OJPAC) said, adding that two of the victims were critical, with one of them stabbed at least six times.

Roughly a third of the population of Rockland County is Jewish, including a large enclave of Orthodox Jews who live in secluded communities.

Another attack took place in Monsey in November when a man walking to a synagogue was stabbed multiple times, according to media reports.

The attack on the party, which was attended by dozens of people, followed a spate of anti-Semitic attacks in New York City and surrounding areas.

(Production: Vanessa Johnston)

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