As one might, perhaps, have expected, the maniac who attacked five people with a machete in New York turns out to be a victim himself, if you believe his family, friends and pastor.
A man charged with hate crimes for a machete attack on Hasidic Jews at a Hanukkah party in New York is not a terrorist but rather a victim of mental illness and America’s failures, according to family friends.
. . .
Thomas’ pastor of 10 years, Reverend Wendy Paige of Hudson Highlands Cooperative Parish told reporters that he is “not a violent person.” Rather, she said, he had simply been let down by “U.S. systems.”
“Grafton is not a terrorist, he is a man who has mental illness in America and the systems that be have not served him well,” Paige said, according to the New York Post. “I have been his pastor for a long time and I have seen him, he is not a violent person, he is a confused person.”
Paige, who spoke down the block from Thomas’ home, where he lives with his mother, seemed to be responding to New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo calling the attack an “act of domestic terrorism” during a visit to Monsey on Sunday morning.
The pastor said Thomas has suffered from mental illness for more than 20 years and has been in and out of hospitals for treatment. She did not say whether he had been diagnosed with any condition or prescribed medication.
Taleea Collins, a friend of Thomas’ mother, said outside the home that Thomas is “a lovely person.”
“Grafton has always been a loving, loving man towards me. He calls me ‘auntie’ sometimes,” she said. “He’s just a lovely person. I’ve never seen him be violent, and I know that he suffers from mental illnesses.”
“He’s not a terrorist he’s a loving loving man, with a lot of creativity and just a wonderful spirit,” Collins added.
. . .
The New York Police Department said Thomas fled the scene of the crime and doused himself in bleach in an attempt to destroy the evidence. Officers found him on Saturday night covered in blood in Harlem, about 30 miles south of Monsey. They arrested him and booked him in the Rockland County Jail, where he is being held on $5 million bail.
There's more at the link.
I leave it up to the reader to decide whether a mentally ill "confused person", who is "a lovely person" and has never been known to be violent, and who is "a loving loving man, with a lot of creativity and just a wonderful spirit", can "douse himself with bleach in an attempt to destroy the evidence". That's not the act of a troubled man - that's the act of someone who has a pretty good understanding of how to neutralize DNA evidence. What's more, according to other reports, this may not have been his first anti-Semitic attack. Nazi propaganda was found in his room.
Unless and until communities stop their willful blindness towards such evil in their midst, and stop blaming "the system" or "America" or "the man" or whatever, and start putting the blame where it's due - on the perpetrators of such acts - we will get no further in stopping them. This communal refusal to accept reality is something I encountered as a prison chaplain. You'd have a man sent to us with a multi-decade sentence, for crimes that were among the most evil and vicious imaginable, yet his family - even his wife and kids - would insist that it couldn't have been him, he wasn't capable of such a thing, he didn't have an evil bone in his body, and so on ad nauseam. This, after solid, undeniable evidence (including DNA, sometimes) proved conclusively that he had committed the crime. They absolutely refused to believe the evidence that any rational person (including the members of the jury) could not possibly reject.
What's more, many such criminals know how to put on an act with those they want to deceive, while displaying naked evil to those about whose opinion they don't care. I've seen inmates playing with their kids, making nice with their wives, as happy as could be - yet that same inmate, on coming out of the visitation room, could turn around and beat up or stab another inmate, then curse and scream at the officers trying to stop him, and even threaten me for not allowing him extra privileges (that had to be earned, and were not a right). I've described a number of them in my book on the subject. It's sobering reading, to those who've never encountered the sewer-like underbelly of America's criminal class.
So now the citizens of New York will have to pay for this scumbag to be incarcerated in a high-security prison for (hopefully) the rest of his life. That's a few million more taxpayer dollars down the drain. Meanwhile, other anti-semitic thugs are getting their start in criminal life by being set free without bail, thanks to new lenient pre-trial detention guidelines. I hope the people of New York feel safe as they watch their authorities play a politically correct game with their lives . . . because some of them are going to be the victims when the authorities make a wrong move.