Former New York City Police Commissioner Bernard Kerik told Newsmax TV on Monday that the weekend stabbing at a rabbi's house during a Hanukkah celebration might be different from recent anti-Semitic attacks in the New York City region.
"I think this is gonna be different," Kerik, who commanded the city's forces during the Sept. 11, 2011 terror attacks, told "America Talks Live" host John Cardillo. "This is going to be different than the ones we're seeing in Brooklyn."
Referencing the suspect in the attack, Grafton Thomas, 37, Kerik observed that "he looks like a mental-observation patient.
"He looks like he has some issues, like he's got some problems," Kerik added. "I think that's what you're going to see here, maybe."
Thomas, who pleaded not guilty Sunday to five counts of attempted murder and one count of burglary, was to be charged Monday on five federal charges of obstructing the free exercise of religious beliefs by attempting to kill with a dangerous weapon and causing injuries.
He was held on $5 million bail. The attack was the 13th anti-Semitic assault in New York since Dec. 8, according to Democrat Gov. Andrew Cuomo.
While prosecutors have said Thomas had a journal filled with anti-Semitic sentiments, Kerik told Cardillo: "I think the trigger may be different on this."
However, the former police chief, who served under former Republican New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, turned his attention to the other anti-Semitic attacks in the region.
"My bigger concern is these consistent attacks on the street, street attacks — sucker-punching and knocking people out, because of their attire, because of the way they look, because of where they're going, to a synagogue.
"These things are real valid hate crimes," Kerik said, "and they have to be handled in that capacity."
He ripped current Democrat Mayor Bill de Blasio for blaming President Donald Trump for the assaults.
"When Giuliani was mayor, if he was upset, I was upset — and then everybody else was upset," Kerik told Cardillo. "In the end, it's going to get right to the bottom line.
"Mayor de Blasio has not put enough emphasis on this, not enough pressure," he added. "I haven't heard him talk about it until he's only wanted to criticize Giuliani and Trump.
"This has nothing to do with Donald Trump, nothing," Kerik said. "Why are you bringing him up?
"Why are you making it political? Don't make it political."
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