BRIGHTON (CBS) – Khaled Awad, the man accused of stabbing Rabbi Shlomo Noginski eight times outside a Jewish school in Brighton Thursday, appeared in court Friday afternoon.
Awad, 24, of Brighton, was arrested shortly after the attack outside the Shaloh House on Chestnut Hill Avenue. Boston Police said he was armed with a knife and gun. He’s charged with assault and battery by means of a dangerous weapon and assault and battery on a police officer. He was arraigned in Brighton District Court.
Investigators said Awad came up to Rabbi Noginski Thursday afternoon, pointed a gun at him, and told him to give him the keys to a school van.
“The suspect then ordered the victim to walk over to the white van that was parked on Chestnut Hill Ave,” the police report said. “The victim and suspect walked toward the van and the suspect told the victim to get in the van.”
The rabbi fled, but there was a struggle and Noginski was stabbed eight times in the arm as he tried to run to Brighton Common, the park across the street.
Prosecutors said Awad has no record in Massachusetts, but has faced charges of battery and theft in Florida and was sent to a mental health facility there. He’ll be held without bail until a dangerousness hearing on July 8.
“It was certainly a harrowing, brazen act in broad daylight in our neighborhood, in this community, where a member of our community was terrorized, chased and stabbed numerous times,” said prosecutor Margaret Hegarty.
In court, prosecutors said Awad may also face civil rights charges. He is Egyptian, and he has been in the United State for four years.
Rabbi Noginski was rushed to Boston Medical Center where he spent the night recovering. He was released early Friday morning.
There’s still no word on a motive for the attack. ADL New England regional director Robert Trestan said Friday facts were “emerging” that included “multiple indicators pointing towards antisemitism.”
Unity rally in Brighton, for the Rabbi, and the community pic.twitter.com/DHCDh34AqY
— Bill Shields (@ShieldsWBZ) July 2, 2021
Acting Boston Mayor Kim Janey and Suffolk County District Attorney Rachael Rollins joined about 100 other people Friday morning in the rain for a unity rally on Brighton Common to support Rabbi Noginski.
“We will not run. We will hold our ground and defend ourselves and our community,” said Robert Trestan of the Anti-Defamation League.
“We have to recognize that anti-Semitism is on the rise and we need to hold people accountable when they do this so that they are made an example of,” said Rollins.
“This attack intends to scare us from Jewish living, but it’s not going to work. We will continue to live Jewish lives,” Sheila Goodman of Combined Jewish Philanthropies told the crowd.
The rabbi, who is Russian-born and in his 50’s, is the father of 12 children.
“I am grateful to the Boston Police Department for their rapid response, and relieved that the perpetrator is in custody. I am looking forward to returning to my work as soon as possible,” Rabbi Noginski said from his hospital bed Thursday.