Thursday, December 11, 2014

Parents, Israeli soldiers visit hospital where student stabbed in Brooklyn synagogue is in serious condition 

Israeli student Levi Rosenblatt, who was stabbed by an emotionally unstable Valley Stream man inside a Brooklyn synagogue, remained in stable but serious condition at Bellevue Hospital Center on Wednesday night.

Rosenblatt was stabbed on the left side of the head and neck by Calvin Peters, 49, who walked inside the Crown Heights synagogue at 770 Eastern Pkwy. early Tuesday morning. According to witnesses and police, Peters blurted out "I am going to kill you" and anti-Jewish remarks.

Officers opened fire on Peters after he attacked Rosenblatt and lunged at an NYPD officer, police said.

Rosenblatt, 22, is a student at the synagogue, the world headquarters of the Chabad-Lubavitch Hasidic movement. His parents arrived from Israel on Wednesday to be at his beside. Seven Israeli soldiers in New York City on a visit arranged by the Chabad Israel Center in Manhattan also went to the hospital.

"We wanted to show him our support and warm his heart," said Chabad Israel Center's rabbi, Uriel Vigler. "We are very familiar with terror and we want to show him our support and solidarity."

The soldiers could not see Rosenblatt, who was resting in his room, Vigler said. Instead, Vigler, two other rabbis and the soldiers held a prayer vigil outside the hospital for the student's quick recovery.

Rosenblatt, who lives in Israel, was studying about 1:40 a.m. inside the basement of the synagogue when Peters attacked him, police said.

NYPD Commissioner William Bratton said the stabbing did not appear to be terror-related. Bratton said that the shooting by officers looks to be "justified." He also said that the NYPD's hate crimes unit will investigate to determine whether Peters' attack was a bias incident.

Peters first entered the synagogue just after 5 p.m. on Monday, police said. He left and returned at midnight but was escorted out. When Peters came back at 1:40 a.m., he had a 9-inch knife with a 41/2-inch blade, police said.

At one point, Peters obeyed police commands to place the knife on a table. But Peters picked up the knife again and lunged toward an officer, police said.

Peters' family in Valley Stream told Newsday that Peters had bipolar disorder, but was a "loving father to two kids."

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