The 24-year-old man accused of stabbing a Boston rabbi multiple times outside a synagogue was ordered held without bail Friday.
A judge ordered a hearing for Khaled Awad, of Brighton, the Boston Herald reported. Awad is charged with assault and battery by means of a dangerous weapon and assault and battery on a police officer.
The charges are connected to the Thursday stabbing of Rabbi Shlomo Noginski outside the Shaloh House Jewish Day School in Brighton. He sustained multiple non-life threatening wounds to his arm and is recovering in a hospital.
Awad allegedly drew a gun and told the rabbi to take him to his car and attempted to force him inside, Rabbi Dan Rodkin, executive director of Shaloh House, told Fox News. Noginski tried running across the street to a nearby park called Brighton Common and was stabbed eight times in the arm, he said.
“The victim and suspect walked toward the van and the suspect told the victim to get in the van. At this point, the victim began to flee. The suspect chased the victim across Chestnut Hill Avenue and into a park across the street. The pursuit continued into the park, where the suspect caught up to the victim and stabbed him several times with a knife,” according to court documents obtained by WCVB-TV.
Prosecutors said officers confronted Awad after the attack and drew their weapons on him after he pointed a firearm at one officer. After putting his weapon on the ground, he allegedly kicked an officer in the stomach.
The school was running a day camp at the time of the attack and went into a brief lockdown, Rodkin said. No one else was harmed.
A motive for the attack was not revealed.
In court, prosecutors said Awad does not have a criminal record in Massachusetts but faces charges in Florida for alleged battery and theft. He may also face civil rights charges, prosecutors said.
Suffolk County District Attorney Rachael Rollins was in the courtroom Friday and told the Boston Herald earlier that she plans to investigate the stabbing as a hate crime.
Noginski, a father of 12, experienced anti-Semitism as a child in the Soviet Union when he was badly beaten in one attack, Rodkin told Fox News. In response, his mother put him in martial arts classes and he is now a black belt in judo, Rodkin said.
The family eventually moved to Israel where Noginski became a successful businessman and was a city councilman at one point. He moved to Boston to serve the city’s Russian-speaking Jewish community, Rodkin said.
“He dropped everything in Israel to come here to be a rabbi,” he said. “It’s hard to find a person who’s more kind, more gentle, very sincere, very humble.”
The case has renewed fears of anti-Semitic behavior following a series of attacks and vitriol against Jews that have gone viral in recent months.
In a tweet Friday, Israel’s Minister of Diaspora Affairs, Nachman Shai, said the attack on Noginski was reminiscent of 1930s Europe and that “anti-Semitism is on the rise in the United States.”
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“The State of Israel will do everything in its power to ensure the safety and security of Jews throughout the world,” he wrote, according to a translation of the tweet. “I pray for the speedy healing of Rabbi Shlomo Naginsky.”
Robert Trestan, the regional director for the Anti-Defamation League New England, said the attack sent a “shockwave of fear and anxiety throughout the community.”