The Orthodox Jewish Public Affairs Council (OJPAC) posted a photo on Twitter on Wednesday January 1, 2020 that shows the traumatic injuries suffered by Josef Neumann, a 70 year-old Jewish man, during a machete attack at a Hanukkah party.
Josef Neumann is lying comatose in a hospital bed with two large rows of stitches on the left parietal region of his scalp. The closed lacerations start above his left eyebrow and run toward the back of his head. Severe contusions and swelling prevent his left eyelids from closing.
The Tweet was submitted a few hours after Neumann’s family issued a statement detailing the wounds he suffered Saturday night December 28, 2019, when Grafton Thomas, 37, allegedly used a machete to hack up five Orthodox Jewish men celebrating Hanukkah at a rabbi’s house in Monsey.
“Doctors are not optimistic about his chances to regain consciousness, and if our father does miraculously recover partially; doctors expect that he will have permanent damage to the brain —leaving him partially paralyzed and speech-impaired for the rest of his life,”
— Family Statement
Neumann’s family also said the machete “penetrated his skull directly into the brain” and “three cuts to the head, one cut to the neck.” His his right arm was also shattered,” according to his family of seven children, many grandchildren and one great-grandchild.
Since Neumann’s condition with head trauma is tentative, surgeons have not attempted to repair his arm because of the risk of additional stress to his body.
Neumann suffered the most serious injuries of the five victims allegedly wounded by Grafton Thomas.
Grafton Thomas has been charged with five state counts of attempted murder and five federal hate crimes, based in part on journals that authorities claim reveal “anti-Semitic sentiments.”
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Monsey, New York is a hamlet in the town of Ramapo, New York in Rockland County, about 20 miles north of Manhattan. The 2010 census listed the population of Monsey at 18,412. The hamlet has a large and growing community of Hasidic Jews.