Hanukkah stabbing suspect kicked out of Marines boot camp in 2002: report
The man charged with stabbing five people at a Hanukkah celebration in New York on Saturday was kicked out of Marine Corps boot camp in 2002 for “fraudulent enlistment,” The Associated Press reported Tuesday.
Military officials told the AP that Grafton Thomas left the Marines as a recruit in late 2002, roughly a month after he started training. They did not provide details on why he left.
“Those specifics are administrative in nature and therefore information we are required to keep private,” Capt. Karoline Foote told the AP.
Michael Sussman, Thomas’s attorney, told reporters on Monday that his client had trained with the Marines in Parris Island, S.C. The following day, he told the AP that Thomas was “recruited and suffered a wrist injury during basic training.”
“He was then released from that training,” Sussman said in an email to the AP. “That is the best information we have at this time.”
The Pentagon did not immediately respond to a request for comment from The Hill.
Police arrested Thomas, 37, in Manhattan on Saturday night after he fled the scene of the attack in Monsey, N.Y. He was accused of using a machete to wound five people inside the home of a rabbi, and federal hate crimes charges were filed against him on Monday after authorities reportedly found anti-Semitic rhetoric in his journals and on his phone.
Thomas’s family has said he was hospitalized in connection with mental illness on multiple occasions.