‘Escaped mental patient’ attacks rabbi with knife

A rabbi and his son were attacked entering a synagogue in Paris on Monday by a man wielding a utility knife, reported to be an Iranian national. The assailant is said to have escaped from a psychiatric hospital near Lyon two weeks ago.

'Escaped mental patient' attacks rabbi with knife
File photo: Mike Fitzsimon

The knife attack occurred at around 7.30 am on Monday (6.30 GMT), as the unnamed 49-year-old rabbi and his 17-year-old son were entering the Beth-El synagogue on Rue Saulnier, in the 9th arrondissement of the capital.

According to reports, a man assaulted the two with a utility knife, or box-cutter as it's also known – injuring the rabbi in the throat, and his son in the neck.

The assailant was subsequently overpowered by onlookers and taken into custody by police.

The suspect is a 28-year-old Iranian national, according to French media.

Furthermore, French television TF1 claims the alleged assailant was wearing hospital patient attire during the knife attack.

Police are investigating the possibility that he is the same man who escaped on April 13th from a psychiatric care institution in Bron, near the city of Lyon, around 500 km from the scene of Tuesday’s incident.

The rabbi and his son were reportedly not in a serious condition after the ordeal.

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