A man has been charged with attempted murder over the stabbing of a rabbi in broad daylight in London on Friday.
It’s thought to be the same suspect who was pinned down by construction workers outside the bank branch where Rabbi Alter Yaacov Schlesinger was attacked, and held there until police arrived.
Construction site manager Lazar Friedlander said he ran to the scene on Stoke Newington High Street with his brother after hearing a ‘serious scream’.
He added: ‘We ran outside, I saw a Jewish man covered in blood. I’m Jewish myself, and I can see another Jewish man shouting “hold him, catch him, he’s got a knife! Stabbing!”’
‘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.’
The rabbi, who is in his 50s, was taken to a trauma centre after the attack. Police have since said his condition is not life-threatening.
The suspected attacker is believed to be a man in his forties.
Police said on Friday the incident is not being treated as terror-related, although some onlookers, including Mr Friedlander, believed he may have been targeted because of his religion.
Detectives are investigating whether it was a hate crime.
Mr Friedlander added ‘Why he stabbed the Jewish man? I reckon it was a hate crime.’
He added that he tried to speak to the assailant after pinning him down but ‘he just blanked me and wouldn’t say anything’.
A Met Police spokeswoman said: ‘Police were called to reports of a male being restrained in Stoke Newington High Street at 10:54am.
‘Officers and paramedics attended. A man, aged in his 50s, was found suffering stab wounds.
‘Another man, aged in his 40s, had been restrained on the floor by members of the public.’
She added: ‘A man, aged in his 40s, has been arrested on suspicion of attempted murder.
‘He has been taken to hospital after suffering what is believed to be minor head injuries. The victim has also been taken to hospital.’
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