Monsey Chanukah stabbing victim Josef Neumann dies

The 72-year-old was a father of seven children, a grandfather, and a great-grandfather.

By Aaron Sull, World Israel News

Josef Neumann, a victim in the Monsey stabbing attack last Chanukah died on Sunday.

“We are sad to inform you that Yosef Neumann, who was stabbed during the Chanukah attack in Monsey late Dec. 2019, passed away this evening,” the Orthodox Jewish Public Affairs Council tweeted on Sunday.

During the attack, Neumann sustained serious injuries to his brain, neck, and right arm.

In February, doctors were optimistic Neumann would recover after he opened his eyes and began breathing on his own.

“We were hoping when he started to open his eyes,” Rabbi Yisroel Kahan, the community liaison for the Ramapo Police Department, told The Journal News on Sunday.

“We were hoping and praying he would then pull through. This is so very sad he was killed celebrating Chanukah with friends just because he was a Jew,” he added.

Neumann was a father of seven children, a grandfather, and a great-grandfather.

On Dec. 28, 2019, Grafton Thomas stormed into the home of Rabbi Chaim Rottenberg in Monsey, NY and hacked the 72-year-old and four other Orthodox Jews with a machete during a Chanukah party.

In January, Thomas pleaded not guilty on six counts of attempted murder and 10 federal hate crimes charges. Because Neumann died, it is expected prosecutors will seek the death penalty.

However, a forensic psychiatrist’s evaluation in late January said Thomas is unfit to stand trial because he suffers from schizophrenia, experiences hallucinations, and hears voices.

If the courts find Thomas unfit to stand trial, he will be sent to a psychiatric facility until he’s found able to understand the charges against him.

Thomas is next scheduled to appear in Federal court on March 25.

USA Today reports the FBI searched Thomas’ home and went through his cell phone on Sunday.  They found the packaging for the 18-inch machete Thomas used in the Chanukah attack. On his cell phone, the FBI found references to Hitler, the Nazis, and anti-Semitic material.