Suffolk Assistant District Attorney Margaret Hegarty on Thursday told a Boston court that Khaled Awad, 24, originally from Egypt, arrived in the US with biased views against Jews, Christians, and American culture, said during court hearing. Awad is accused of stabbing Chabad Shliach Rabbi Shlomo Noginski, 41, father of 12, outside his Chabad House in Boston on July 1. Now the prosecutor wants to add the charge of a hate crime to the indictment.
Recently the prosecution in Israel refused to add the charge of a hate crime to the indictment of a gang of Arab rioters in Jaffa who beat up their Jewish neighbor to within an inch of his life because he was not wearing on his person any Jewish-identified articles. But over in Boston, ADA Hegarty had plenty to work with: Rabbi Noginski was dressed as the proverbial religious Jew with plenty of identifying marks no anti-Semite could overlook—he was wearing a black yarmulke and standing in front of a large menorah on the steps of the Shaloh House.
Awad was charged on July 2 with seven counts, including assault with intent to murder and attempted armed robbery. On Thursday, the ADA added two charges of hate crimes: committing a civil rights violation causing injury, and armed assault and battery with intent to intimidate, causing bodily injury.
The new charges rely on interviews with individuals who knew Awad—former college roommates and friends from the University of Southern Florida where he studied chemical engineering—who told investigators that he had told them “all Jews are stingy and evil,” and “they are evil and control the world,” ADA Hegarty told reporters on Thursday. According to her, Awad hated Christians, too, but “was especially harsh on Jews, as part of who he was.”
Eric Valiente, a friend of Awad’s, told CBS TV Boston that the suspect was “very much anti-Semitic. He would say, like, all types of Jewish jokes. I thought he was joking at first, and then I started to see the seriousness in his comments.”
The attack took place outside the Shaloh House Jewish Russian Center & Synagogue in the Brighton neighborhood of Boston, where Rabbi Shlomo Noginsky teaches. Suffolk County district attorney Rachael Rollins told reporters that on the day before the attack, Awad, who lives in the neighborhood, was spotted outside the center and was behaving in an “odd or off-putting” way.
According to the prosecution, on July 1, Awad pulled a gun and demanded the keys to the school van from Rabbi Noginski. Awad then pulled a knife and ordered the rabbi to get into the van. Instead of obeying, Rabbi Noginski ran for his life. Awad chased him down and stabbed him nine times in his arm and limbs.
Awad will now be sent to Bridgewater State Hospital for the next 20 to 30 days to determine if he is competent to stand trial and if he could tell right from wrong on the day of the attack.