A 24-year-old New Jersey man who stabbed Mumbai-born author Salman Rushdie at a literary event in New York state has been charged with attempted murder and assault and returned to jail without bail of Chautauqua County, police said Saturday.
New York State Police in Jamestown, investigating the attack ahead of a conference at the Chautauqua Institution in Chautauqua, said the Bureau of Criminal Investigations on Friday arrested Hadi Matar of Fairview, New Jersey, for attempted 2nd degree murder and 2nd degree assault.
Matar was processed at Jamestown State Police and transported to Chautauqua County Jail.
He was arraigned Saturday in a centralized arraignment and “defended without bail at the Chautauqua County Jail,” New York State Police said in a statement.
Meanwhile, Chautauqua County Executive Paul Wendel said in a statement on behalf of all Chautauqua County residents that he extends his thoughts and prayers to Rushdie’s family and friends.
The small, quiet community of the Chautauqua Institution was rocked by an act of violence that reverberated through Chautauqua County and western New York. It’s disappointing to live in a society where we can’t listen to others’ differences, especially in a place like the Institution where thinkers and problem solvers from around the world come to share their stories, he said. .
Wendel thanked all emergency and law enforcement agencies who he said did a tremendous job in responding to this horrific event. It was thanks to their quick reaction that they were able to mitigate the situation and capture the alleged attacker.
Rushdie, who faced Islamist death threats for years after writing ‘The Satanic Verses,’ was stabbed by Matar onstage while featured at a Chautauqua Institution literary event in the western New York, sending shockwaves through the literary world which condemned the incident as an attack on free speech.
He was on a ventilator with a damaged liver and could lose an eye, the 75-year-old writer’s agent Andrew Wylie told The New York Times.
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