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Orange County NewsFor Immediate Release Contact: Christopher BorekDecember 29, 2019 845.291.3276, 845.238.4245c
Greenwood Lake Man Arrested for Stabbing Multiple People Outside of Orthodox Jewish Rabbi’s Residence in Rockland County
Orange County District Attorney David M. Hoovler issued the following statement following the arrest by the New York State Police of Village of Greenwood Lake resident Grafton Thomas, for Attempted Murder in the Second Degree, in connection with the stabbing of five people at the home of an Orthodox Jewish Rabbi in Rockland County.
“Whether or not it is determined that this particular crime was motivated by hate, there is no denying that anti-Semitic crimes are on the rise,” said District Attorney Hoovler. “I have full faith in the ability of the New York State Police and the Rockland County District Attorney’s Office to determine the facts and circumstances of this horrendous event and proceed accordingly. Given the possibility, and what will be the public’s understandable and inevitable concern that this was a Hate Crime, particularly in light of recent anti-Semitic attacks in Brooklyn, and the tragedy in Jersey City, we must stand together and send a clear message that there is absolutely no room for hate motivated crimes here in Orange County, or anywhere else for that matter. Anti-Semitic actions and messages do not reflect the values of the overwhelming majority of Orange County residents. Those who engage in Hate Crimes will be thoroughly investigated and prosecuted by my office. Resources that we have devoted to combating Hate Crimes include sponsoring training for police officers, in conjunction with the Jewish Federation of Greater Orange County, on recognizing and investigating Hate Crimes, hiring an investigator specially training in, and dedicated to, investigating Hate Crimes, and assigning a senior prosecutor to coordinate efforts to investigate and prosecute Hate Crimes. We have sponsored public service announcements in conjunction with the Jewish Federation of Greater Orange County and have provided educational programs and materials in our high schools in an effort to prevent Hate Crimes before they happen. The District Attorney’s Office, with funding from the Jewish Federation of Greater Orange County, developed an informational brochure, Speak Up to Stand Up Against Hate, as well as a related poster, both of which are available for public distribution. I remind all Orange County residents that the District Attorney’s Office has established a Hate Crimes Hotline, (800) 378-1411, that residents can use to report hate crime incidents.”
A criminal charge is merely an allegation that a defendant has committed a violation of the criminal law, and it is not evidence of guilt. All defendants are presumed innocent and entitled to a fair trial, during which it will be the State of New York’s burden to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.