Hannukah stabbings suspect in custody, faces attempted murder charges; Governor says attack was act of intolerance

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NEW YORK (AP/CNN) -- A man stabbed and wounded five people as they gathered at a rabbi's home north of New York City to celebrate Hanukkah, in an attack that the governor said Sunday was fueled by intolerance and evidence of a “cancer” in American politics.

One person was very seriously wounded during the Saturday night attack, the governor told reporters, and remained in critical condition. The rabbi's son was also injured, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said. His status and that of the other victims was not clear.

The victims were Hasidic Jews, the Orthodox Jewish Public Affairs Council for the Hudson Valley Region said in a tweet.

The attacker pulled out a knife that was "almost like a broomstick," said Aron Kohn, who attended the Hanukkah celebration.

There were at least 100 people in the home at the time, as the rabbi was "lighting the candle" on the seventh night of Hanukkah, Kohn said.

The suspect tried to run into a nearby synagogue, but someone closed the doors.

The suspect was reportedly found with "blood all over him," a law enforcement source with direct knowledge of the case told CNN on Sunday.

Thomas Grafton was driving a Nissan Sentra across the George Washington Bridge into New York City when police identified his license plate about 11:45 p.m. Saturday, the source said without elaborating.

Police apprehended Grafton without incident after midnight, a New York Police Department spokeswoman told CNN earlier Sunday.

Ramapo officers picked him up and transported him upstate, the spokeswoman said. Monsey is a hamlet within Ramapo.

Police Chief Brad Weidel says the suspect faces five counts of attempted murder and one count of burglary.

Authorities have not provided a motive for the attack, but Cuomo said it was an example of larger problems.

“This is an intolerant time in our country,” he said to reporters outside the rabbi's home on Sunday morning. “We see anger, we see hatred exploding.”

He added: “It is an American cancer on the body politic.”

He said he thought the crime was an act of domestic terrorism and expected it to be prosecuted that way.

Rockland County -- where the stabbing took place -- has the largest Jewish population per capita of any US county, according to New York state. More than 30% of its residents are Jewish.

Officials are still working an active crime scene, Ramapo Police Chief Brad Weidel said in a news conference. Weidel described the suspect as a tall African-American man.

Continuing coverage, here.

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