JAMESTOWN, NY (WNY News Now) – The man accused of stabbing a world-renowned author at the Chautauqua Institution was transferred to the Chautauqua County jail late Friday night after being questioned by law enforcement. Meanwhile, victim Salman Rushdie, remains hospitalized following the attack.
WNY News Now’s Jackson Hickey was at the New York State Police Barracks in Jamestown when Hadi Matar, 24, from Fairview, New Jersey was escorted to a patrol car and taken to the county jail.
State Police are working with the FBI and County DA’s Office to determine a motive. Friday, investigators were waiting on a search warrant to enter Matar’s backpack. Additionally, on Friday evening, police had blocked off the street to the New Jersey home believed connected to the suspect.
According to the Chautauqua County Sheriff’s Office, Matar was booked into jail around mid-night Saturday without bail on felony charges.
“The individual responsible for the attack yesterday, Hadi Mattar, has now been formally charged with Attempted Murder in the Second Degree and Assault in the Second Degree,” said DA Jason Schmidt. “He was arraigned on these charges last night and remanded without bail.”
“Immediately after the attack, I was on scene to view the evidence in order to determine what needed to be further developed and preserved for prosecution. I then dispatched a prosecutor to stay with investigators and communicate information to me while I worked on a search warrant application which was signed last night by our County Court Judge, Hon. David W. Foley,” furthered Schmidt. “Execution of the legal authority provided to us by that warrant has already occurred and is ongoing. We are working closely with State Police, our local police agencies and federal law enforcement partners to fully develop the evidence.”
“We have been in touch with our counterparts in the State of New Jersey where the attacker is from to share information and assist them in helping us to better understand the planning and preparation which preceded the attack so that we and the different agencies involved can determine what, if any, additional charges should be asserted. This is the very early stage of what will invariably be a protracted legal process. We will try to be as transparent as we can without compromising the case, ” explained Schmidt.
Rushdie, meanwhile, was on a ventilator Friday evening and could not speak, his agent, Andrew Wylie, told the New York Times.
“Salman will likely lose one eye; the nerves in his arm were severed; and his liver was stabbed and damaged,” Wylie told the Times. “The news is not good.”
Matar is accused of jumping onto the stage and stabbing Rushdie at least once in the neck and at least once in the abdomen. Staff and audience members rushed the suspect and put him on the ground before a state trooper took the attacker into custody.
Rushdie was airlifted from a field adjacent to the venue to UPMC Hamot hospital in Erie, Pa.
State police said Henry Reese, co-founder of the Pittsburgh nonprofit City of Asylum, who was scheduled to join Rushdie in discussion, was taken to a hospital and treated for a facial injury and released.