Khaled Awad, 24, allegedly attempted to kidnap Rabbi Shlomo Noginski outside of the Shaloh House, a Massachusetts synagogue. According to investigators, the incident began with Awad holding a gun and demanding Noginski give him the keys to a van belonging to the synagogue and ordering him to get into the van.
When the kidnapping attempt failed, and Noginski tried to run, Awad stabbed him multiple times in the arm.
The Boston Police Department has since arrested Awad, while Noginski was rushed to the hospital with non-life threatening injuries. He was sent home later that evening.
“We can share light and dispel a tremendous amount of darkness. We seek to continue to convey that message, especially in a situation of darkness such as this, that for all those out there to go ahead and do acts of kindness… Just be kind to your neighbor and for the Jewish folk out there, be proud that you’re a Jew,” Rabbi Ilan Meyers said.
Suspect Arrested in Connection to Brighton Stabbing https://t.co/B7GFIBYSCM
— Boston Police Dept. (@bostonpolice) July 2, 2021
The Shaloh House was placed on lockdown once the staff became aware of the attack on their rabbi, as there were children inside the synagogue attending a summer camp program.
Many members of the community are living in fear over a recent increase in anti-Semitic threats and violence in the area.
Court documents show that when police located Awad, he pointed what appeared to be a firearm at them, causing three officers to draw their firearms and order him to drop his weapon. Awad complied, throwing the weapon to the ground. As he was being put into a Boston police car, he kicked one of the officers in the stomach.
Awad pleaded not guilty to several charges, including assault and battery by means of a dangerous weapon, and assault and battery on a police officer.
After an investigation, police chose to bring Awad back to court to be arraigned on two hate crime charges.
“It was learned through this investigation that the suspect had strong religious views and opinions against Jews, Christians and the American culture,” assistant district attorney Margaret Hegarty said in court.
According to Hegarty, people who knew Awad when he lived in Florida told the investigators that he had made “statements like, ‘All Jews are stingy and evil.’ ‘They are evil and control the world.'”