NYPD have confirmed that they have one suspect in custody after at least five Hasidic Jews were stabbed at a Hanukkah party in Rockland County, New York, by a man wielding a machete.
The attack occurred around 10 p.m. local time on Saturday at a local Rabbi’s house. The house is located on Forshay Road, Monsey, according to a tweet from the Orthodox Jewish Public Affairs Council (OJPAC) for the Hudson Valley region.
The OJPAC added that the five people with stab wounds had been transported to local hospitals. Two of them are in a critical condition, with reports that one victim was stabbed in the chest.
2 of the victims of the attack were taken into hospital as critical. The perp’s face was partially covered with a scarf but skin showed him to be an African American.
— OJPAC Hudson Valley (@OJPACHV) December 29, 2019
The OJPAC said in another tweet that witnesses have said the suspect was African American in appearance.
Yossi Gestetner, a co-founder and spokesperson for OJPAC, told local media that Rabbi Chaim Leibush Rottenberg, whose home was invaded by the attacker, is a popular leader in the local Hasidic Orthodox Jewish community.
He was leading a candlelighting ceremony for the seventh night of Hanukkah when the attacker charged into his house.
“The house had many dozens of people in there,” Gestetner said. “It was a Hanukkah celebration.”
Rabbi Rottenberg’s son was among the five stabbing victims.
— StopAntisemitism.org (@StopAntisemites) December 29, 2019
His house is located next to the local synagogue in Monsey—a place where a large population of ultra-Orthodox Jews live.
The Ramapo Police Department has since confirmed that the suspect has been apprehended. Pix 11 reported that NYPD officers have arrested a potential suspect and his vehicle in Harlem, about 30 miles south of Monsey.
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said in a tweet he was “horrified” by news of the stabbing—the latest in a string of anti-Semitic attacked in NYC just this week.
“We have zero tolerance for anti-Semitism in NY and we will hold the attacker accountable to the fullest extent of the law,” he said.
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. pic.twitter.com/JILUoFXJc9
— Andrew Cuomo (@NYGovCuomo) December 29, 2019
New York Attorney General Letitia James said, “There is zero tolerance for acts of hate of any kind and we will continue to monitor this horrific situation. I stand with the Jewish community tonight and every night.”
I am deeply disturbed by the situation unfolding in Monsey, New York tonight.
There is zero tolerance for acts of hate of any kind and we will continue to monitor this horrific situation.
I stand with the Jewish community tonight and every night.
— NY AG James (@NewYorkStateAG) December 29, 2019