People said he “held strong biases against Jews, Christians and American culture” and “called Jews ‘evil’ and used other derogatory and degrading language.”
Prosecutors charged Khaled Awad, 24, with hate crimes for allegedly stabbing Rabbi Shlomo Noginski last week in Brighton, a Boston neighborhood.
Suffolk County District Attorney Rachael Rollins said the office charged Awad with “committing a civil rights violation causing injury; and armed assault and battery to intimidate causing bodily injury while armed.”
The office charged Awad with seven other charges on July 2.
The Jewish community wished Rollins charged Awad with the hate crimes right away. Rollins explained her office had to know for sure so they could make the charges stick in court:
During today’s arraignment [July 8], Assistant District Attorney Margaret Hegarty, supervising attorney for the District Attorney’s Brighton prosecution team, relayed new details about the July 1, 2021, attack and the alleged assailant. ADA Hegarty told the court that Mr. Awad had been present outside the Shaloh House Jewish day school on the day prior to the attack, acting in a suspicious manner that raised the concern of a witness. That witness ultimately took a photo of Mr. Awad to document his presence near the Jewish day school.
The following day, security camera footage captured Mr. Awad approaching the victim, Rabbi Shlomo Noginski on the Jewish day school’s steps as a children’s camp was underway at the location. Mr. Awad allegedly drew a weapon that appeared to be a gun, and demanded the keys to the school van. The rabbi, in fear, handed over the keys. Mr. Awad motioned for the rabbi to enter the van; at the same time, he put away the weapon and pulled out a knife, prosecutors said.
A meticulous and on-going investigation by state, local and federal law enforcement ensued over the long weekend. There is now additional evidence to further support the new charges brought against Mr. Awad earlier this morning. Specifically, witnesses reported that Mr. Awad held strong biases against Jews, Christians and American culture. He had repeatedly called Jews “evil” and used other derogatory and degrading language. The totality of the circumstances indicate that the Rabbi was likely targeted due to his religion. as he stood outside of the Jewish day school, in front of an enormous menorah, wearing a yarmulke, holding the keys to the school van.
Awad does not have a criminal history in Massachusetts. He faced battery and theft charges in Florida, where he attended the University of Southern Florida. He went to a mental health facility, too.
One college roommate, a Jew, said, “Awad attacked him in their shared kitchen one day, prompting him to move out and get a restraining order.”
The roommate said he was friends with Awad and knew he was Jewish since move-in day.
From CBS Boston:
They say Awad’s beliefs towards certain cultures became evident early on.
“He was very much anti-Semitic. He would say like all types of Jewish jokes. I thought he was joking at first and then I started to see seriousness in his comments,” another former roommate told WBZ.
After the assault in fall of 2020, the friends distanced themselves from Khaled, but still say they’re shocked he would go so far as to assault a stranger with a weapon.
“He disgusted me at that point. I wanted nothing to do with the guy. At this point, I was a little scared of him. I was scared of what he was capable of because I realize he was a very dark person,” one of the friends said.
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