Crown Heights

Rabbinical student thanks cops for saving his life after stabbing

Levi Rosenblatt lights Menorah at 71st Precinct

December 23, 2014 By Paula Katinas Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Levi Rosenblatt lights the Menorah as Dep. Insp. George Fitzgibbon (left) looks on at the 71st Precinct. Photos courtesy Jewish Leadership Council
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Members of the Chabad-Lubavitch community in Crown Heights showed their support for police by paying a visit to their local precinct on Monday and bringing along a special guest: the young rabbinical student whose life cops saved after he was stabbed by a deranged assailant on Dec. 9.

Levi Rosenblatt, a student from Israel who was stabbed at Chabad-Lubavitch world headquarters at 770 Eastern Parkway during an attack in which police killed the assailant, came to the 71st Precinct at 421 Empire Boulevard and personally thanked officers for saving his life.

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It was an emotional gathering, according to the Jewish Leadership Council. Rosenblatt, 22, who was only recently released from Bellevue Hospital and is still recovering from his stab wounds, recited a traditional blessing and lit seven candles on the precinct’s Menorah. The visit took place on the seventh night of Hanukah.

A group of Yeshiva students who were at the scene on Dec. 9 when suspect Calvin Peters attacked Rosenblatt also made the trip to the precinct Monday to thank police for saving their lives.

Officers from the 71st and 77th Precincts were on hand at the stationhouse on Monday to meet with the students and with members of the Chabad-Lubavitch community. The two precincts cover Crown Heights.

The New York Times reported that Peters stabbed Rosenblatt in the head during the attack at the Eastern Parkway building. Police arrived at the scene and tried to persuade Peters to put down his knife. Police shot and killed the suspect when he lunged at an officer.

A portion of the deadly incident was captured on a cell phone video.

Following the Dec. 9 incident, Mayor Bill de Blasio praised the actions of the police.

“I think something all New Yorkers should be proud of today is the way the NYPD handled this incident. In the dead of night, something absolutely unexpected – the responding officers handled things, from everything we’ve seen so far – again, there is an investigation, but I’m going to speak as someone who’s seen the video and just offering my own common-sense assessment – the officers responded with great restraint. They made every effort to try to disarm the individual. And, they – in the work they did so courageously – protected lives. This individual had already assaulted Mr. Rosenblatt – may have caused much more damage to others. Lives were at stake, and these officers – with courage and skill and restraint – handled the situation very admirably,” the mayor said at a press conference. 

Monday’s visit to the 71st Precinct also had another purpose: to show solidarity with police in the wake of the assassinations of police officers Rafael Ramos and Wenjian Liu in Bedford-Stuyvesant on Dec. 20, according to the Jewish Leadership Council.

“Whether an officer is shot for wearing blue or a Jewish man is stabbed for wearing a Yarmulke, we feel that pain,” said Barry Sugar, an advocate for increased security for the Jewish community. “The Jewish community knows what it feels like to be targeted for our uniform and values.”

Dep. Insp. George Fitzgibbon, commanding officer of the 71st Precinct, expressed his appreciation for the support from the Jewish community. “It’s like one big family. I can’t thank you all enough,” he told the visitors.


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