Westchester district attorney's chief investigator recounts exit from Israel

Less than 24 hours after Grascia arrived in Israel, he was woken up Saturday morning to the sound of air raid sirens.

Nadia Galindo

Oct 10, 2023, 9:45 PM

Updated 258 days ago

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For the first time, News 12 is hearing from a person in the delegation of local law enforcement leaders who was in Israel the moment the terror attacks started.
"We stayed in a hotel right off the Mediterranean, I was able to see the beach," said Andrew Grascia, deputy chief criminal investigator at the Westchester District Attorney's Office.
Less than 24 hours after Grascia arrived in Israel, he was woken up Saturday morning to the sound of air raid sirens.
"Many of us stepped out onto our balconies...We started to see missiles, rockets over the hotel we were staying in," he said.
The Westchester native and father of two, was caught in the middle of the terror attack.
Grascia was in the country, along with a delegation of high-level law enforcement officials from New York, to attend counterterrorism and antisemitism training organized by the Community Security Initiative (CSI) of New York and the Community Security Service (CSS).
The Westchester County Chiefs of Police Association confirms chiefs from White Plains Police Department, City of Rye, Pleasantville Police Department and Larchmont Police Department were also on the trip.
"We are all law enforcement officials, we've been trained for it different kind of scenarios. This is definitely not one we would see on a regular basis," said Grascia, who has been with the DA's office for 26 years. "But we understood what was going on."
Grascia said his group spent much of that day seeking shelter in reinforced stairwells at their hotel until the next day when they were moved to the airport and flown to Dubai before returning to New York Monday.
"This wasn't a missed opportunity, it was still a teaching moment for us of how dangerous the world can be," he said. "How communities are affected by terrorism throughout the world and Israel, and how America is going to have to act if terrorist activity does occur here."
The Westchester County Chiefs of Police Association released a statement:
“The Westchester County Chiefs must recognize the outstanding work of Mitchell Silber and Richard Priem of CSI and CSS respectively. Their outstanding leadership during this unprecedented act of terrorism was witnessed and appreciated by all law enforcement personnel present.”


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