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Feds Charge Monsey Suspect With Hate Crimes As Family Cites History Of Mental Illness

Grafton Thomas
Grafton Thomas Photo Credit: Contributed

Federal prosecutors have filed hate crimes charges against the man accused of allegedly stabbing five people at a Hasidic rabbi’s Monsey home during a Hanukkah celebration.

The charges come after calls for action on hate crimes from state and federal officials, as well as the public and religious leaders.

The criminal complaint, filed in the White Plains federal court, provides a glimpse into what may have motivated Grafton Thomas, 31, of Orange County, to carry out his bloody rampage on Saturday, Dec. 28.

Thomas’s family said in a statement on Sunday, Dec. 29, that he had a long history of severe mental illness and suffered from schizophrenia.

According to the complaint, a search of Thomas's home, officials found handwritten journals espousing anti-Semitic views with mentions of Adolf Hilter and "Nazi Culture," along with drawings of a Star of David and a swastika.

During the attack, the complaint said Thomas allegedly entered the rabbi's home with his face was covered in what appeared to be a scarf and said: "no one is leaving."

He then took out the machete and started stabbing and slashing people in the rabbi's home, the complaint said.

The complaint also said that Thomas allegedly used his cell phone to search what areas police were protecting Jewish neighborhoods just hours before the attack.

Other sites Thomas allegedly visited on his cell phone's browser including "Why did Hilter hate the Jews," and "German Jewish Temples near me," as well "Zionist Temples in Elizabeth, New Jersey."

During a search of Thomas's vehicle was a machete with what appeared to be blood and human hair, along with a bloody knife, the complaint said. 

The agent stated that when stopped by police, Thomas's vehicle smelled heavily of bleach and that he had what appeared to be blood on his hands, clothing, and jacket. 

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