This may not have been the first time that Grafton E. Thomas attacked Jews in Monsey.
The FBI has allegedly impounded a car registered to the mother of 37-year-old Grafton Thomas, the man suspected of stabbing Chanukah guests with a machete in the Monsey home of Chassidic Rabbi Chaim Rottenberg last weekend.
The Honda Pilot was previously seen leaving the scene of a vicious stabbing attack that took place last November 20, also in Monsey.
In that attack, a 29-year-old Jewish man was repeatedly stabbed as he was walking to synagogue in the morning.
Mordechai ben Bracha (Schlesinger) was discovered lying on the ground bleeding; he subsequently told Rockland County Hatzolah emergency medics what happened to him before he lost consciousness. Security footage later corroborated the victim’s account.
In addition to the vehicle, the FBI reportedly has managed to obtain the weapon that was used by the attacker to stab Schlesinger as well.
A forensics laboratory analysis will determine whether the DNA found on the knife matches that of Grafton E. Thomas, the man held as a suspect in the machete attack in Monsey on the seventh night of Chanukah.
If the DNA on the knife and in the car is linked to Grafton E. Thomas, that will provide further evidence linking the suspect to the attack on Schlesinger and add to the list of charges and hate crimes he already faces.
Five men were hospitalized with serious injuries as a result of the attack; one of the five – 70-year-old Yosef Neumann – remains in critical condition.
Neumann’s family told media this week that doctors are “not optimistic” about his chances for a full recovery, and have told them he may not wake up at all, ever.
The family has asked the public to please continue to pray for Yehosef ben Perel.