5 stabbed at Hanukkah gathering north of NYC

MONSEY, N.Y. (AP) — A man attacked a Hanukkah celebration at a rabbi’s home north of New York City late Saturday, stabbing and wounding five people before fleeing in a vehicle, police said.

The attack appeared to be the latest in a string targeting Jews in the region, including a massacre at a kosher grocery store in New Jersey earlier this month.

Police said the stabbings happened at around 10 p.m. in Monsey, one of several Hudson Valley towns that have seen an influx in large numbers of Hasidic Jews in recent years.

Ramapo Police Chief Brad Weidel said hours later that New York City police had located a vehicle and possible suspect being sought in connection with the stabbing.

New York City Police wouldn’t immediately confirm whether anyone was in custody.

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Hasidic community in New York City
NEW YORK - MARCH 04: Hasidic Jews celebrate the festival of Purim in the borough of Brooklyn March 4, 2007 in New York City. The holiday commemorates the deliverance of Jews from an ancient plot to exterminate them and is celebrated by giving charity to the poor, a holiday feast, the reading of the Biblical story, drinking wine and wearing costumes. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 24: A Hasidic teen walks through a Jewish Orthodox neighborhood in Brooklyn on April 24, 2017 in New York City. According to a new report released by the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), anti-Semitic incidents in the U.S. rose by 86 percent in the first three months of the year. The group's audit of anti-Semitic events counted 541 anti-Semitic attacks and threats in the first quarter of the year, a significant increase over the same period last year. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
NEW YORK - NOVEMBER 19: Hasidic rabbis prepare to pose a group photo, part of the annual International Conference of Chabad-Lubavitch Emissaries, in front of Chabad Lubavitch World Headquarters November 19, 2017 in the Crown Heights neighborhood of the Brooklyn borough of New York City. They are among 4600 rabbis from around the world who are in New York for international conference aimed at reviving jewish awareness around the world. (Photo by Amir Levy/Getty Images)
NEW YORK - MARCH 04: Hasidic Jews celebrate the festival of Purim in the borough of Brooklyn March 4, 2007 in New York City. The holiday commemorates the deliverance of Jews from an ancient plot to exterminate them and is celebrated by giving charity to the poor, a holiday feast, the reading of the Biblical story, drinking wine and wearing costumes. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)
(Original Caption) 8/4/74-New York, NY: Although they are dressed soberly, young Hasidic Jews in Brooklyn seem to underscore a leader's statement that 'the people here are very happy.' Two big groups of Hasidic Jews live in Brooklyn neighborhoods and have halted the spread of urban decay in its tracks.
BROOKLYN, NY - OCTOBER 17: Young Hasidic Jewish boy wearing eyeglasses with peyes sidelocks writing a lesson in his notebook at cheder aka cheider elementary school in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, New York on October 17, 1972. The boy is wearing a yarmulke and hair sidelocks (side locks) (peyes) and sits at a desk in an education classroom. The school is United Talmudical Academy boys elementary school Cheder aka Cheider. The students are from the pious observant Satmer Hasidim community. The writing with a pencil is in English. Lessons are in English, Yiddish, and Hebrew. (Photo by Nathan Benn/Corbis via Getty Images)
BROOKLYN, NY - OCTOBER 17: Young Hasidic Jewish boy with peyes sidelocks in lesson to read Hebrew book with help from his teacher at cheder aka cheider elementary school in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, New York on October 17, 1972. The boy is wearing a yarmulke and hair sidelocks (side locks) (peyes) and sits at a desk in an education classroom. The school is United Talmudical Academy boys elementary school Cheder aka Cheider. The students are from the pious observant Satmer Hasidim community. The hands of his teacher rabbi help guide the student. (Photo by Nathan Benn/Corbis via Getty Images)
BROOKLYN, NY - OCTOBER 17: Young Hasidic Jewish boy with peyes sidelocks reads Hebrew book at cheder aka cheider elementary school in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, New York on October 17, 1972. The boy is wearing a yarmulke and hair sidelocks (side locks) (peyes) and sits at a desk in an education classroom. The school is United Talmudical Academy boys elementary school Cheder aka Cheider. The students are from the pious observant Satmer Hasidim community. A rabbi helps another student with his lesson. (Photo by Nathan Benn/Corbis via Getty Images)
BROOKLYN, NY - SEPTEMBER 22: Observant Jewish men examine and buy lulav palm fronds that are used in celebration in the Diaspora of the Sukkot holiday in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, New York on September 22, 1972. Lulav is a closed frond of the date palm tree. It is one of the Four Species used by pious Jews during the Jewish holiday of Sukkot. Some of the men are Hasidic Jews and others are Orthodox and wear hats or yarmulkes. The reeds are displayed on the hood of a car as pop-up street market. Buyers count the leaves of the frond to insure that they are kosher. (Photo by Nathan Benn/Corbis via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 19, 1972: Hasidic Jewish man with beard and yarmulke examines with a magnifying glass a diamond that he is polishing in 47th Street workshop in Manhattan, New York on October 19, 1972. The workers at this diamond workshop on 47th Street are religious and observant Jews mostly of the Satmer Hasidim community in Williamsburg, Brooklyn and rent space at the diamond processors workshop for grinding diamonds. (Photo by Nathan Benn/Corbis via Getty Images)
(Original Caption) New York: Rabbi Schmuel Butman, a leader of the Lubavitch group of Hasidic Jews who live in Brooklyn's Crown Heights, his wife and children are shown at the end of a Sabbath ceremony and prayer in their home. From left are: son Velvel, 7; the rabbi; son Yossi, 4, and wife Rochel, holding daughter, Yehudis, who is 9 months. 8/4/1974
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Photos and videos posted on Twitter showed a large emergency response with paramedics running and pushing stretchers. A number of police and emergency vehicles could be seen in the images.

The Anti-Defamation League of New York and New Jersey says it's also aware of reports and was at the scene in Monsey.

Monsey is about an hour north of New York City.

The Orthodox Jewish Public Affairs Council for the Hudson Valley region tweeted reports that the stabbings took place at the house of a Hasidic rabbi while they were celebrating Hanukkah.

Several state and local officials have described the location of the stabbing as a synagogue. The rabbi's home is next door to a synagogue.

Saturday was the seventh night of Hanukkah.

Weidel said the five people were taken to hospitals for treatment. It is unclear what the extent of their injuries are or a motive in the stabbing.

The stabbings occurred a month after a man was stabbed while walking to a Monsey synagogue. The man required surgery.

Jewish communities in the New York City metro area have been troubled following a deadly Dec. 10 shooting rampage at a northern New Jersey kosher market. Six people died in the shooting, including the two killers, a police officer and three people who had been inside the store. New Jersey Attorney General Gurbir Grewal said the attack was driven by hatred of Jews and law enforcement.

In November, a man was stabbed while walking to a Monsey synagogue. The man required surgery. It's unknown if the person suspected in that stabbing has been arrested.

Around New York City, police have gotten at least six reports this week — and eight since Dec. 13 — of attacks possibly propelled by anti-Jewish bias.

Mayor Bill de Blasio said Friday that police presence would increase in Brooklyn neighborhoods with large Jewish populations.

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