The man, who was accused of stabbing five people at a Hanukkah celebration in New York on Saturday, was kicked out of the Marine Corps boot camp in 2002 for being convicted of “fraudulent use,” the Associated Press reported on Tuesday ,
Military officials informed the AP that Grafton Thomas had left the Marines as a recruit in late 2002, about a month after he began training. They gave no details of why he was leaving.
“These details are administrative in nature, so we have to keep information secret,” Captain Karoline Foote told the AP.
Michael Sussman, Thomas’ lawyer, told reporters Monday that his client had trained with the Marines in Parris Island, SC. The following day, he informed the AP that Thomas “had been recruited and suffered a wrist injury during basic training.”
“He was then released from this training,” Sussman said in an email to the AP. “This is the best information we currently have.”
The Pentagon did not immediately respond to a request for comment from The Hill.
Police arrested 37-year-old Thomas in Manhattan on Saturday evening after he fled the crime scene in Monsey, New York. He was accused of using a machete to injure five people in a rabbi’s house on Monday after the authorities reportedly found anti-Semitic rhetoric in his magazines and on his phone.
The family of Thomas has reported that he has been hospitalized several times in connection with a mental illness.