Shlomo Pinto, a resident of northern Israel, was charged Sunday with attempted murder after he stabbed an Israeli Jew he allegedly mistook for an Arab, possibly in an attempt to exact revenge for a recent string of terror attacks.
Pinto stabbed the man two weeks ago near an Ikea store in Kiryat Ata, north of Haifa, and was charged Sunday morning by the Haifa District Court on two counts: attempted murder and possession of a knife with racist intent. Pinto confessed to the crimes and will be held in custody until further notice.
According to his indictment, on the morning of October 13, Pinto got into his car armed with a knife, boxcutter and hammer. He drove to the town's central business area and spotted what he thought was an Arab. The suspect trailed the man, waiting for him as he visited a bank, but as the man was delayed, Pinto decided to move on, heading towards a supermarket where he believed Arabs were employed.
Shortly after noon, Pinto entered the supermarket with a knife concealed in his sleeve and the boxcutter in his pants. He noticed Uri Razkin, an Israeli Jew working as a stock boy, and decided that he too was an Arab and that he would stab him with what the indictment described as an intent to kill. He approached Razkin from behind with the knife in his hand and stabbed him a number of times near the waist, lower back and shoulder. Razkin then fled and Pinto chased him with the knife still in hand, attempting to stab him once again. At some point Razkin blocked the attack with a supermarket cart, prompting Pinto to leave the scene.
Yossi Gimply, the lawyer representing Pinto, claimed in court that his client did not intend to kill. "We are sure we'll convince the courts," he said. Pinto underwent a psychiatric evaluation and was deemed fit to face trial, but, according to his lawyer, though his client was found legally sane, the evaluation revealed he suffered from a number of psychological issues that warrant further evaluations.
Pinto's family said he was a family man and a loving father, "the last man you would think could be involved in such an event." They claimed they were shocked when told about his alleged crimes and condemned such actions: "We condemn any type of violence by any side and wish a speedy recovery and full health for the victim and all the victims of recent events."
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