Man Wounded In Monsey Stabbing Attack May Not Regain Consciousness

A 72-year-old man who was critically injured in last Saturday night's anti-Semitic stabbing attack at the home of Rabbi Chaim Rottenberg in Monsey might never fully recover, his family said, according to a Fox News report. Photo Credit: OJPAC/Twitter

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A 71-year-old man who was critically injured in last Saturday night’s anti-Semitic stabbing attack at the home of Rabbi Chaim Rottenberg in Monsey might never fully recover, his family said, according to a Fox News report.

In a statement released by the Orthodox Jewish Public Affairs Council, he doctors attending to Josef Neumann are not optimistic that he will regain consciousness, his family said. Five people were hospitalized for stab wounds, including Neumann.

Josef Neumann was one of five people hospitalized after a man used a large blade in a stabbing rampage in the Monsey home as hundreds gathered for a Chanukah celebration, according to the Fox News report.

JTA reported that the attacker’s knife penetrated Neumann’s skull and cut into his brain, according to the statement. Because of his condition, doctors have not been able to operate on his shattered right arm.

“Our father’s status is so dire that no surgery as yet been performed on his arm,” the family said.

Even if Neumann does recover partially, “doctors expect that he will have permanent damage to the brain; leaving him partially paralyzed and speech-impaired for the rest of his life,” according to the statement.

“We urge fellow Jews across the United States and around the globe to please share on social media their own experiences with anti-Semitism and add the hashtag #MeJew,” the family said. “We shall not let this terrible hate-driven attack be forgotten, and let us all work to eradicate all sorts of hate.”

Fox News reported that the family said Neumann has seven children, many grandchildren, a great-grandchild, as well as brothers and sisters.

At the home of suspected attacker Grafton Thomas, police has discovered handwritten journals expressing anti-Semitic views, including references to Adolf Hitler and “Nazi culture,” and drawings of a Star of David and a swastika. Police said that the suspect had used his phone to look up information about Hitler, hatred of Jews, and the location of nearby synagogues, according to the JTA report.

Federal authorities have indicted Thomas on hate crime charges this past Monday, just a day after he pleaded not guilty to attempted murder charges filed locally.

Thomas’ family and attorney said this week that the Orange County man, who lives with his mother, has a “long history of mental illness,” and that he had no history of similar violent acts and no prior convictions.

In a related development, CNN reported that Rabbi Shmuel Gancz said that one of the survivors of the stabbing attack was hit in the side of the head by the suspect’s machete and doctors had to use three staples to close his wounds.

Shloime Rottenberg, the son of Rabbi Chaim Rottenberg, had just finished the ceremony of lighting the menorah at his father’s upstate New York home when the attack started, Gancz said.

“They are grateful for what they deem a minor injury considering where else the machete could have hit him, such as his eyes,” Gancz said of Rottenberg and his family.


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