Rabbi Alter Yaakov Schlesinger was stabbed multiple times in what has been described as a suspected hate crime. Onlookers described the scene saying that the rabbi, who is in fifties and hails from Stamford Hill, was going about his business. As he waited outside a bank, he was set upon by the attacker. Witnesses have stated that there was no altercation prior to the attack and it seemed he was attacked because he was Jewish. Furthermore, the attack was conducted in silence, revealing no motive behind it. The incident took place on Stoke Newington High Street mid-morning on Friday June 12.
Stanley Francis is Charged for Attack
The following day, Saturday 13 June, Stanley Francis, 44, of Coronation Avenue, Stoke Newington, was charged with attempted murder and possessing an offensive weapon in a public place. While police are maintaining an open mind about the attacker’s motive, Detective Sergeant James Tipple from Hackney CID issued the following statement regarding the vicious knife attack: “The victim was stabbed in broad daylight as he went about his business. He suffered multiple stab wounds in what was a horrific incident and will undoubtedly stay with him for a long time to come. We’re conducting extensive enquiries into this attack and have been gathering evidence. However, I know many people saw this attack and, if anyone has any footage or information about this incident, please come forward and tell us what you know.”
Brave Builders Save the Day
On a positive note, two builders who were working nearby the location of the attack have been hailed as heroes. Brothers Lazar Friedlander and his brother Matt rushed towards the victim as witnessed shouted and screamed in horror. Lazar told the Daily Mail, “There were a couple of other people trying to grab him. Me and my brother managed to force him down and put his hands behind his back until the police came. I wouldn’t call myself a hero. You act in the heat of the moment.”