Pedestrian is victim of brutal knife attack in Monsey – Cuomo demands hate crime investigation

BY JOE KUHN

MONSEY – A man was brutally stabbed and slashed as he walked to a Monsey synagogue Wednesday morning.

The 30-year-old teacher is in critical condition after surviving the brutal assault. Police confirmed that the man was attacked while walking to his local synagogue, Mosdos Meharam Brisk Tashnadearlier, at around 5:49 a.m. Ramapo PD initially responded to a report of a pedestrian struck by a car near Howard Drive, but quickly determined that the victim had in fact been stabbed and slashed with an unknown weapon.

Investigation confirms that the man was stabbed more than once by at least one individual on the street. Police so far have no description of the suspect or suspects or the vehicle driven during the attack. The man was rushed to Westchester Medical Center and underwent surgery for serious injuries, police said.

Ramapo Police Chief Brad Weidel stated during a press conference that afternoon that his department “still needs to establish a motive (for the attack)”, frankly stating “there are a lot of possibilities” as to what sparked the incident. The chief further commented that the assault “was clearly an attempted murder.”

The RPD currently believes that nothing was taken from the victim and that the man did not know his attacker. The chief has was unwilling to speculate as to whether the incident was a hate crime, but has not ruled out the possibility.

Weidel also told reporters that police have obtained a video recording of the incident, “but (he) wishes it was of better quality.” The chief plans to cooperate with state and possibly federal officials to obtain a better analysis of the footage.

“We’ve never had anything like this happen,” lamented Legislator, Philip Soskin the representative for the district in which the assault occurred. Soskin and other members of the Hasidic community have expressed fear and outrage in response to the attack. “All of us are infuriated” said the legislator.

The police chief has assured the community “(he) hears there concerns loud and clear” and has increased patrols in the area. He urges anyone with relevant information on the incident to come forward. The Anti-Defamation League has offered a reward of up to $10,000 for information leading to an arrest and conviction.

Senator David Carlucci condemned the attack. “This act of violence is horrific and not reflective of our peaceful community. Violence or hate of any kind is never tolerated. I pray for the victim’s recovery and expect police will find the suspects and bring them to justice. I am awaiting more details on this incident.”

Governor Andrew Cuomo ordered the assault to be investigated as a hate crime. He released a statement, which said, “I am deeply disturbed by the violent attack of an Orthodox Jewish man who was beaten and repeatedly stabbed while on his way to Synagogue in Monsey, Rockland County, earlier today. I am directing the State Police Hate Crimes Task Force to assist the Ramapo Police Department and the Rockland County Sheriff’s office as they investigate this horrific assault and examine all potential motives, including whether the attack may have been motivated by anti-Semitism. 

“This is not an isolated incident, all across the state we’ve seen an alarming rise in anti-Semitic vandalism and hate-fueled attacks. We cannot allow the cancer of hate to metastasize any further. The escalation of hatred and anti-Semitism must end here and now, and I urge all New Yorkers to denounce hate whenever and wherever they see it.”