RAMAPO – A-30-year-old Hasidic teacher remains in critical condition after surviving a brutal assault in Monsey Wednesday morning. Ramapo Town Police Chief Brad Weidel said the attack “was clearly an attempted murder.” He did not rule out the attack being a hate crime.
Police confirmed that the man was attacked while walking to his local synagogue, at around 5:49 a.m. Ramapo Town Police had been called to a report of a pedestrian being struck on Howard Drive, when they arrived they found the victim who was rushed to Westchester Medical Center and underwent surgery. He had been slashed and stabbed several times with an unknown weapon.
Investigation confirms that the man was stabbed more than once by at least one individual on the street. So far police have no description of the suspect or suspects or the vehicle driven during the attack.
Chief Weidel said Wednesday afternoon said there “a lot of possibilities” as to what sparked the incident. Investigators currently believe that nothing was taken from the victim and that the man did not know his attacker. The chief was unwilling to speculate as to whether the incident was a hate crime, but has not ruled out the possibility.
Weidel also said 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 their 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.
Governor Cuomo also has ordered the State Police Hate Crimes Task Force to assist local authorities with investigating this horrific assault and examine all potential motives, including whether the attack may have been motivated by anti-Semitism.
He said this assault was not an isolated incident. “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.”