RAMAPO, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — A humble hero has been honored.
He helped chase away and identify the man accused of attacking Jews at a synagogue in Monsey on Saturday night. On Tuesday, he received a high honor from his hometown in Rockland County, CBS2’s Tony Aiello reported.
Josef Gluck is a 32-year-old father of five with no formal emergency training. Yet, he had the presence of mind to throw a table at the attacker and follow him outside to take down his license plate. That all led to the arrest of Grafton Thomas in Harlem.
“Without his swift action the even more unthinkable could have happened,” Rep. Nita Lowey said.
“I am not usually a courageous guy, a brave man. At that minute, God pushed me and that’s what I did,” Gluck said.
Web Extra: Officials Honor Synagogue Attack Hero Josef Gluck:
Security remains tight at the crime scene, a synagogue that doubles as the home of Rabbi Chaim Rottenberg. A company that uses high-tech vans is volunteering its services, and local leaders are promising there will be no let up once the spotlight on this crime fades.
“It’s not going to go away. We’re gonna make sure that we stay ever vigilant. This is the new reality,” Ramapo Town Supervisor Michael Specht said.
As security measures are considered, the more important task may be changing hearts and minds that are open to antisemitism.
“Stop the hatred, try to bring everyone together. A lot of, you know, love,” Monsey resident Jacob Brodie said.
Thomas, the suspect in Saturday’s attack, is in custody facing state attempted murder and federal hate crime charges.
CBS2 has learned authorities are also working to link him to a Nov. 20 attack on a Jewish scholar who stabbed 19 times outside a synagogue.