Family: Hanukkah stabbing suspect had mental illness history

National News

December 30, 2019 - 10:09 AM

People hold signs of support near the house of Rabbi Chaim Rottenberg onSunday in Monsey, New York. Five people were injured in a knife attack during a Hanukkah party and a suspect, identified as Grafton E. Thomas, was later arrested in Harlem. (Stephanie Keith/Getty Images/TNS)

MONSEY, N.Y. (AP) — A man accused of storming into a rabbi’s home and stabbing five people as they celebrated Hanukkah in an Orthodox Jewish community north of New York City was raised to embrace tolerance but has a history of mental illness, his family said.

“Grafton Thomas has a long history of mental illness and hospitalizations. He has no history of like violent acts and no convictions for any crime,” his family said late Sunday in a statement issued by attorney Michael Sussman. “He has no known history of anti-Semitism and was raised in a home which embraced and respected all religions and races. He is not a member of any hate groups.”

“We believe the actions of which he is accused, if committed by him, tragically reflect profound mental illness,” the statement said.

December 11, 2020
December 12, 2019
December 11, 2019
June 29, 2015