NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – The NYPD officers who helped bring in the suspect accused of the Chanukah machete attack were honored on Tuesday in Rockland County.
Officers Russell Mattera and David Radziwon were recognized for the arrest of 37-year-old Grafton Thomas.
“Through your diligent police work, you gave back the sense of safety to the Jewish community here in Rockland County,” said Rockland County Legislature Public Safety Committee Aron Wieder. “We are forever grateful to you both.”
Thomas is accused of entering a synagogue in Monsey, N.Y., then drawing a machete and attacking people gathered for a Chanukah celebration. He reportedly chased after and stabbed victims as they fled the synagogue before running off and escaping in a gray Nissan Sentra to New York City.
Last night, a keen eye & quick response by @NYPD32Pct cops led to the apprehension of a suspect wanted in connection with the horrific attack at a Hanukkah celebration in Monsey.
Outstanding work by Officers Radziwon & Mattera. pic.twitter.com/yyZ6sZEOsS
— Commissioner Shea (@NYPDShea) December 29, 2019
He has been charged with five counts of attempted murder and one count of burglary. One victim, 72-year-old Josef Neumann, remains hospitalized and unresponsive.
Thomas is also facing federal hate crime charges. His attorney says the attack was the result of mental illness, not antisemitism.