MONSEY, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) – At least five people have been stabbed in an attack at a synagogue in New York’s Rockland County. That attacker is now reportedly in custody after fleeing the scene.

CBS2’s Tony Aiello has confirmed a man entered Rabbi Rottenburg’s synagogue on Forshay Road in Monsey and stabbed several people just before 10 p.m. Saturday.

The suspect has been identified as 37-year-old Grafton Thomas, of Greenwood Lake, New York, in Orange County.

Thomas, covering his face with a scarf, reportedly entered the building and pulled out a machete to attack the victims during a Chanukah celebration. Thomas reportedly chased after and stabbed victims as they fled the synagogue before running off and escaping in a gray Nissan Sentra.

NEW YORK SYNAGOGUE ATTACK: Machete-Wielding Suspect Arrested In Harlem After Two-Hour Search

“He took out his knife, sword from a holder and started hitting people back and forth. Nothing, he didn’t say anything. He screamed after me when I came out here, he screamed after me, ‘Hey you, I’ll get you,'” one witness told CBS2’s Marc Liverman. “He moved to the front door. He could go straight into the kitchen and the dining room’s the first thing. First, he went into the dining room and hit a few people there. Then he went into the kitchen and hit one guy there, and then he came back to the dining room.”

“I ran into the other room because I tried to save my life. I saw him running down this way, so I ran out and two ladies came along with me. They’re still hysterical,” witness Aron Kohn said.

Grafton Thomas is accused in a violent machete attack on members of a synagogue that left five wounded in Rockland County on Dec. 28, 2019. He was captured near W. 144th Street and Adam Clayton Boulevard early Sunday morning. (credit: CBS2)

Shortly after midnight on Sunday, Ramapo police announced Thomas had been arrested. Police tell CBS2 he was taken into custody in Harlem.

Tony Aiello reports at least four people were taken to area hospitals with injuries. Two of the victims were rushed to Westchester Medical’s trauma center due to the severity of injuries.

Both the Clarkstown Police Department and the Orthodox Jewish Public Affairs Council reported a total of five stabbing victims.

Sunday morning, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said one of the victims was still in “very serious and critical condition with wounds to the head.”

So far, police haven’t released any other information on the victims, although OJPAC co-founder Yossi Gestetner says one of the victims is a senior.

“The least severe case is someone who has been stabbed only in the hand,” he said.

The rabbi’s son was also one of the victims of the attack. The rabbi told Cuomo his son is recovering.

Officials said around 9:40 a.m. Sunday that two victims were still in the hospital, but their exact conditions are unknown.

At least five people were stabbed in an attack at a synagogue in New York‘s Rockland County on Dec. 28, 2019. (Credit: CBS2)

This incident happened amid a rash of anti-Semitic attacks this week.

“What’s going on? That’s the question that we don’t have the answers, and people are genuinely scared,” Rockland County Legislator Aron Wider said.

“The people that were stabbed tonight, what did they do? Did the perpetrator even know who they were, or just knew that they were Jews?” said Dov Hikind, founder of Americas Against Antisemitism.

Local law enforcement in the New York area and local leaders are responding to the attack.

“We will NOT allow this to become the new normal. We’ll use every tool we have to stop these attacks once and for all. The NYPD has deployed a visible and growing presence around Jewish houses of worship on the streets in communities like Williamsburg, Crown Heights and Boro Park,” New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio added in a tweet.

WATCH: Gov. Andrew Cuomo Gives Update On New York Synagogue Stabbing

“It’s important for me to express to the rabbi and to all the people of the state of New York that this is intolerance meets ignorance meets illegality. This is an intolerant time in this country. We see anger, we see hatred exploding. It is an American cancer in the body politic. It literally turns one cell in the body against others. And we have seen it here in the state of New York. This is about the 13th incident of Antisemitism in just the past few weeks. Comes during a period of high holidays for the Jewish people. It is intolerant. It is ignorant. But it is also illegal. And at the end of the day, it’s not just about words, it’s about action, and we have seen enough in New York. This is violence spurred by hate. It is mass violence and I consider this an act of domestic terrorism. Let’s call it what it is. These people are domestic terrorists. And the law should reflect that and they should be punished as if it was an act of terrorism. And we’re going to take the lead here in the state of New York and do just that and I’m going to propose that in the beginning of January when I lay out my state of the state address,” Cuomo said.

“Violence of any kind will not be tolerated here in Rockland. I stand with the people of this County in condemning this attack and ask all to offer their thoughts, hopes and prayers for a speedy recovery for the victims of this heinous crime. As a former Police Commander, people need to know that law enforcement in Rockland will leave no stone un-turned as they bring those guilty of this crime to swift and severe justice,” Rockland County Executive Ed Day said in a statement Saturday night.

President Donald Trump responded to the attack on Twitter, saying in part, “We must all come together to fight, confront, and eradicate the evil scourge of anti-Semitism.”

Gov. Cuomo has directed the state’s Hate Crimes Task Force to investigate Saturday night’s attack.

“I am horrified by the stabbing of multiple people at a synagogue in Rockland County tonight. We have zero tolerance for anti-Semitism in NY and we will hold the attacker accountable to the fullest extent of the law. NY stands with the Jewish community,” Cuomo added.

Stay with CBS New York for the latest on this breaking story

Comments (92)
  1. Robert Brooks says:

    Too bad you have all been disarmed by people that will house, feed and provide medical care, on your dime, for this POS…Mossad should be protecting you guys…

  2. Isn’t this what they voted for? Isn’t this what they expected?

    1. Nobody deserves to be attacked, no matter who they vote for, pal. So pump your brakes.

      1. Joshua Bons says:

        Nobody expects to be attacked until they are. Kind of like how nobody needs a gun until they need one… maybe to protect themself from somebody with a knife.

    2. TomKat Books says:

      Vote for the Dems and you should expect the criminal coddling to come soon afterwards. This attack is what criminals do — they should all be incarcerated for a long time when we have the chance. Dems believe in a second chance, and a third, and a fourth…

  3. Mikel Alatza says:

    Jews everywhere….
    Stop voting for leftists. socialists and communists.
    They are not your friends…

  4. BeDaTruth says:

    This is in fact what Jewish New Yorker’s voted for I don’t know why they would start complaining about it now, when it’s happening everyday, dark skinned people attacking both Jewish and Ghey.

  5. Jason Mickleby says:

    For way too long the MEDIA has bern poisoning the minds of Americans.
    These type of attacks have been instigated by dirty politics and government infiltration into mainstream media sources.

    I hope they are happy now with what they have done to all communities
    I predict retaliation against media members soon.
    Every action has a reaction.

  6. Tin Star says:

    To the Jewish community. Continue to vote progressive democrat as usual. They will protect your Islamic brothers rights to their religious beliefs about you.

    1. You hit the nail on the head.

  7. Edward Branca says:

    Auschwitz was the big gas. Monsey was just a little gas.

  8. Sigmund Silber says:

    Sounds like one of Al Sharpton’s buddies. Need to stop those interlopers.

  9. Tony Dean says:

    Oh, he must have been driven to commit violence by a lack-of-opportunity-in-the-community, right?

    1. Tim Holt says:

      No way Tony. You have to know that Trump did it.

  10. Guyver says:

    Machete?
    Are we sure this isn’t a Drug Cartel?

  11. Bill says:

    Have you noticed that all of these hate crimes are perpetrated by democRATS, and not one of these are NRA members, yet the democRATS want to “punish” law abiding Americans rather than the democRATS who commit the crimes.

  12. swagner2013 says:

    Democrat Party social justice ideas are to divide the electorate into identity groups and then mop up votes by appealing to each one as a special interest group that will be catered to one way or another. The disunity the Democratic rhetoric creates is bound to create civil strife and hate crimes.

  13. Santana Binacci says:

    this is going to lead to more anti semitic legislation to ban any speech critical of Israel or Joos, you stupid Goys dont even have a clue how rascist a lot of Joos are toward CHristians and all these anti gun movements? look a little closer and you will see whos behind it!!!

  14. Steve Koppell says:

    Bets anyone..? 100$ says that 37 Year Old Grafton Thomas was one of these haters, just like the last attackers of Jews was:

  15. Bill Jefferson says:

    “Some people did some things.” -Mullah Omar

  16. Jim Diet says:

    The guy has white tyvecs on with no blood stains. That seems impossible with a stabbing.

    1. Bob McDowell says:

      Jim Diet
      December 29, 2019 at 1:05 pm
      The guy has white tyvecs on with no blood stains. That seems impossible with a stabbing.

      Jim, The police put the Tyvek on him to preserve any evidence from gettin contaminated or wiped off

  17. commonsense says:

    And this is why guns were invented.

  18. Craig Elliott says:

    If someone had a gun, then this would have ended very quickly, Oh, thats right, Cuomo would rather you be sheep,unarmed and ripe for slaughter, got it.

  19. Ed says:

    Since Obama and Holder forced Ferguson to let mobs burn their city down this has only gotten worse.

  20. Proudly Unaffiliated says:

    Another false flag massacre to capture the narrative and your attention. And just as Obama’s involvement was coming to the fore on the spying done on Trump’s campaign and Presidency. Oh, and let’s not forget Hussein’s $65M book deal with a publisher (Pearson) that he directed a billion dollars of federal contracts to. Nothing to see here, focus on the shooting…er, well… knifing now.

    1. Bobby says:

      With so many members crying wolf it’s difficult to tell when something actually happens to these people.

  21. Nazi Punks Must Die says:

    Nice buncha people making comments here, got lots of time to wait while your hoods and swastika armbands are being ironed?

    1. Lisa says:

      An American college educated embarrassment.

    2. Susan Elizabeth Clemons says:

      When in doubt call all people who are telling the truth Nazis. And protect the Obamessiah at all costs. You libtards don’t even know what Nazis are.

    3. Bill Jefferson says:

      As dumb as a democRat.

  22. billj696 says:

    Police arrive after the atrocity is over. All synagogues need armed members at this time in our history. I lived in Pittsburgh when Tree of Life was attacked. Arm yourselves. If Coumo and DiBlasio disapprove ignore them.

  23. Patrick Bass says:

    “Terrorism” is “terrorism”…drop the modifiers (domestic) because there is nothing “domestic about it!

  24. Ed says:

    Please help me clarify what is happening in NY. Are bails no longer required? Are they closing Reicher’s Island? Are they going to release 25k criminals that could not pay bail? How many jobs will be lost in the bail bond industry and how much revenue will the city lose? How come there is no outrage about Jewish hate crimes?

    1. Edward Branca says:

      Requiring people who are accused of crimes to post bail discriminates against the poor. Rich jews can almost always afford to post bail.

      1. Mstrdiver says:

        Edward Branca – you appear as bad as the attacker in the story with that nonsense. How about if you pay his bail, so this “poor mistreated a$$ wipe can make it to trial? I’ll lay odds he doesn’t appear and you lose your bail money. Any takers? Being “poor” apparently didn’t stop him from acquiring a machete or did he do by the “all-night free rental shop” to borrow it?

      2. SHARON says:

        What a idiot! Not all Jewish people are rich trust me.

        1. Edward Branca says:

          A disproportionate number of the jews are rich.

  25. Lisa says:

    OMG…..he’s not a white guy someone alert AOC and tell her she is still stupid.

  26. noname4nowandever says:

    Embrace div3rsity!!

  27. Jack Rail says:

    This is the result of 60 years of hatred delivered by tv directly into American homes. This man has been systematically misinformed about who his real enemies are. It has twisted his thinking. He sees himself as some sort of hero, like the Norwegian fool back in 2011.

  28. James Henley says:

    I want to know two things:

    A) What is the guy’s name? (anyone want to bet it sounds something like “Mohammed”)
    B) How the hell do you “stab” someone with a machete??? Whoever wrote this either doesn’t know what “stab” means, or doesn’t know what a machete is.

    1. Barack Trump says:

      Did you read the article, or jump directly to the comments?

  29. miker5 says:

    Hey CNN, is there a way to link the perp to the Tea Party?

    1. James Henley says:

      Or find a way to blame the NRA.

    2. joek92 says:

      CNN will blame Trump

    3. Mary says:

      The media would be salivating if he had been white, from the South, and far right. Not to mention carrying a Confederate battle flag.

  30. James Kent says:

    After being elected in 1932 hitler initiated gun confiscation, and euthanasia. He took the guns from Jewish people so they couldn’t defend themselves then sent the first to the ovens using the new euthanasia laws. HISTORY IS REPEATING ITSELF.

  31. luismartinez1953 says:

    Gotta carry concealed if you are in a target zone, church, synagogue, mall..f– the law.

    1. marc kortlander says:

      in NY? not going to happen, only the rich elites in the areas around NYC are allowed to carry concealed weapons

  32. Arthur Burns says:

    As a native New YORKER, I moved out, this is what NY’s vote for when they go to the polls. These creatins should be in jail for a long time. What you tolerate is what you get. Build a huge facility in Watertown and ship them up there. Why NY’s continue ot expose themselves to aberrant behavior is beyond my comprehension. I remember Mayor Koch wanting to build a double fence around the MTA staging yards to stop graffiti on the cars, a problem again.. A reporter asked, “Won’t the dogs would bite the people who jumped the fence?” His reply, “Yes, we should use wolfs, there are no recorded incidents of wolves biting people in NYC.”

  33. CEBVA says:

    No one had a gun

    1. marc kort says:

      the same libs that these jews elect will not allow people to carry guns

  34. stringnetnj says:

    Omar will proclaim, “Some people did some things against some other people.”

    1. Vendicar decarian says:

      These Christians just don’t like them Jews.

      1. Tim McGraw says:

        I can’t believe a Jew would vote for a Jew hating Muslim embracing Democrat today!

      2. Rebecca Berry Kisler says:

        That’s really funny, bc we Christians go to church to learn in Sunday School that we are to love Israel and Jews. We also listen to sermons on a regular basis cvey ommanding us to love the Jews. You don’t know very much, do you?!

  35. stringnetnj says:

    DeBlasio will now push for a ban on machetes. When these terrorists can’t buy machetes, they’ll just use their cars.

    Cuomo will propose another Hate Law that will be ignored like all the others.

  36. A Democrat Muslim doing what Democrat Muslims do,
    .

  37. Time to end knife violence in NYC. Quick by the end of the year everyone turn in your knives the government will take care of you.

  38. Jay Lewis says:

    Not new, folks. Remember the Al Sharpton-incited murder of Jewish store owners on 125th Street? How about the Crown Heights riots led by Mayor David Dinkins who was celebrating a second Kristallnacht? The idiots using this against Trump are ridiculous.

  39. Barbara Reitz says:

    So will the suspect be bailed and/or set free as the other suspects in the other anti-Semitic hate crimes? If so Cuomo and Deblasio are being complicit in these fueling more attacks like this.

  40. Sigmund says:

    Immigrants celebrating holidays. Jihadi fun

  41. Edward Branca says:

    The problem with the jews is that they only care about their money. That is why they got gassed in Europe during the second world war. If they don’t stop being greedy in America, they’ll get gassed here.

    1. Rice Glanmod says:

      If only someone with a loving heart, someone like you who cares about others and not themselves, could show them the way.

    2. Sharon says:

      What a sicko psycho you’re are!!!! It’s because of people like you spewing hateful words like this that things like this happen!!! This post is getting reported !!

  42. Mark says:

    It looks like all that Holocaust education/indoctrination of Americans is not working. It might even be backfiring.

    1. Gladwell Brantley says:

      Jews alone are the cause of anti sematism.

      1. Edward Branca says:

        Because the jews want to own and control all of the money.

      2. Sharon Grama says:

        Just go away with all your hatred of Jews! Your anti-Semitic comments on this story are being reported. It’s because of idiots like you that things like this happen.

  43. kjatexas says:

    Time for shall issued, concealed carry permits, in the entirety of NY State.

    1. ceefour says:

      All it would have taken is one (1) little old pistol and a brave soul carrying it….and there would not have been ANOTHER incident. Not to worry,though, because people like Bloomberg are trying to disarm American Citizens and, if he gets IT done………we won’t have to be fearful all the time.

  44. joe levi says:

    Down here in Dixie,we shoot varmints.The sure fire cure for anti-semitism is,00BUCK/.045ACP.

    1. Gehs says:

      Amen. The 2nd Amendment is still valid in parts of the US.

  45. gee, what a coincidence, the more the media
    glorifies and promotes radical muslims, the
    more jew hate we see….
    hmmmm…
    …it’s a shame folks
    ain’t allowed to defend themselves in
    the rotten apple.

    1. matismf says:

      You mean, of course, the Big Craphole!!!

  46. matismf says:

    Perchance were they “reformed” tribe, who yearn for the “good old days” of their Messiahs – Lenin and Stalin???

  47. ceefour says:

    Thank goodness the perp ddidn’t use a gun…..guns are dangerous and can hurt people. We would be very interested in learning how this sort of attack can be stopped.

  48. tngilmer says:

    Like most of these attacks, the criminal is an African-American good Democrat.

  49. Peggy Rickard says:

    Sad, probably a stolen car. Hope they catch him.

  50. JackSteph says:

    This is the new Trump era. Racists feel emboldened and supported by the most powerful man in America.

    1. Robert Seidel says:

      Obama’s Brown Shirts. The Moslem Supremacists love it when you blame Trump (the guy who moved the US Embassy to Jerusalem and has Jewish grandchildren) as they continue to attack Jewish people who won’t fight back. Omar and Tlaib love you to pieces!!! You’re a Democrat, and your grandmother may have been a Jew.

      1. Joseph says:

        Robert Seidel you are part of the problem with all your hate! Typical straw man argument that evil people use.

        Muslims and Jews have gotten along for hundreds of years. Go back and look up the Balfour agreement in the late 1800s and how Arab land was taken away and how 700,000 Arabs were forced off their land. How whole villages were wiped out.

        Orthodox Jews knew the true history of what is going on!

        1. Bill Jones says:

          You scold Robert Seidel for a “straw man” argument and totally ignore Jack Steph’s comment. Do you have any introspection?

        2. Robert Seidel says:

          Jews under Moslem domination were dhimmis. Heavily taxed, not allowed to express their religion in public. The Arabs were told to leave by their Moslem Supremacist brothers who had planned to continue Hitler’s genocide. Unfortunately for the Moslem hordes, the Jews were fighting for survival, while the Moslems were fighting for Islamic expansion and genocide. Allah hasn’t been so kind to the murderous Moslems. The Moslems appreciate your undying support!

        3. …and this is the idiocracy world
          we are forced to live.
          you obviously never learned any history and
          have never been to the middle east.
          name a time when radical muslims and jews
          have lived in harmony, without drawing from
          some bizzarro,fake reference.
          BTW, it’s always the radical muslims
          initiating the blood shed!

        4. billj696 says:

          Joseph, thanks for the history lesson but the Balfour Declaration was in 1917. Your accusation of hate is equally credible.

    2. why don’t you move to europe and find out
      who the racists are ….
      …radical muslim and african
      illegal immigrants!
      …as the crazy left are
      attempting the same thing
      here.
      kinda like a certain congress
      woman who publicly
      declares her hate for
      israel!

    3. Bobba Fett says:

      Care to bet that this Affirmative Action candidate supports AOC, not Trump?

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