An NYPD officer on his first day on the job was stabbed in the head with a machete by a 19-year-old who investigators say may be an Islamic extremist during New Year’s Eve celebrations near Times Square.
The attack happened just after 10 p.m. about eight blocks from Times Square, just outside the high-security zone where thousands of revelers were being screened for weapons as they prepared to perform in 2023.
Trevor Bickford, 19, of Wells, Maine, allegedly approached officers on 8th Avenue between 51st and 52nd streets armed with a large knife that he used to cut two of them, Commissioner Keechant Sewell said at a conference night press.
Another officer fired at the suspect, striking him in the shoulder. All of the injured were taken to Bellevue Hospital, where they are in serious but stable condition.
The rookie officer, identified by Mayor Eric Adams as Paul, suffered a “major laceration” and a fractured skull, Sewell said.
A New York police officer was stabbed in the head with a machete by a 19-year-old boy who investigators believe may be an Islamic extremist during New Year’s Eve celebrations near Times Square.
The suspect waved this machete at a group of police officers who were stationed just outside the Times Square perimeter, slashing one, NBC New York reports.
Another officer fired at the suspect, striking him in the shoulder. All of the injured were taken to Bellevue Hospital, where they are in serious but stable condition, authorities said.
Both officers had cuts to their heads, including the rookie officer who suffered a fractured skull along with an 8-year veteran who sustained a head laceration.
At a recent press conference, Mayor Eric Adams said he had spoken to one of the officers injured while being stitched up at the hospital.
“He was in a good mood,” Adams said. “He understood that his role saved the lives of New Yorkers today.”
One of the wounded, Paul, had just graduated from the academy on Friday — he’s actually assigned to a compound on Staten Island — but was brought to Manhattan for New Year’s Eve celebrations, the New York Post reports.
The attack was “without provocation,” Adams said at the news conference overnight. Both Sewell and Adams stressed that there is no “active threat” to the community. The festivities continued without interruption.
The cut took place just outside the security zone in Times Square, where thousands gathered for the annual New Year’s Eve launch. Police checked the revelers for contraband such as alcohol, large bags and weapons.
A police source told the Post: ‘There are no backpacks or umbrellas in Time Square. They forgot to mention the machetes.
Workers at a halal stall near the scene told the New York Daily News they heard what they thought were explosions or gunshots.
‘I heard the sounds only – Bang! Blow!’ Prodip Bisws explained. “People were running, oh my God, they were running.”
Video from the scene shows revelers being rushed from the scene by police officers trying to control the scene, located at 52nd Street and Eighth Avenue. Officers can be seen yelling at pedestrians to get away from the crime scene.
While a witness told the newspaper: ‘They moved the barricades very quickly. He was a police officer in front of the barricade area and he moved it so that the police cars would move fast, and that’s when the barricade fell and he was hit by the car. He received a double blow.
The Post report also mentions that the crowd in the area became rowdy and tried to break down barricades about an hour before the shooting.
At around 8:45 p.m., another man was injured in a stabbing in Bryant Park on 42nd Street after a knife. That victim is also in stable condition in Bellevue.
The attack was “without provocation,” Adams said at the news conference overnight. Both Sewell and Adams stressed that there is no “active threat” to the community.
Witnesses reported hearing gunshots and seeing dozens of police officers running towards the bloody scene.
An investigation was underway to determine the motive for the attack, but authorities said they did not believe there was an ongoing threat to the public.
Michael Driscoll, the deputy director in charge of the FBI’s New York field office, said they believe the shooter acted alone.
Authorities told NBC NewYork that they are looking into whether the suspect had previously posted what they called jihadist writings online and then the possibility of traveling to New York City to attack police.
The NYPD mounts a massive security operation every year to keep the New Year’s Eve crowd safe. Thousands of officers are deployed to the area, including many new recruits to the force.
The blocks where the largest crowds gather to watch performances and the midnight ball drop can only be accessed through checkpoints where officers use metal detector wands to detect weapons. ‘
Large bags and coolers are prohibited. Barriers are placed to prevent vehicle attacks in the secure area.
However, the security perimeter can only be extended so far. The attack took place on 8th Avenue, which is often packed with large crowds navigating the frozen area or trying to find one of the secure entrances.
This incident occurred just a few blocks from where a man was stabbed eight times on Saturday morning. The suspect in that attack is still on the run.
An NYPD spokesman described the 41-year-old homeless victim as “uncooperative” after he was stabbed about eight times in the street near West 40th Street and 7th Avenue around 11 a.m. .
According to police, the victim is being treated at Bellevue Hospital and is in serious but stable condition.
Footage from that scene shows bloodstains on a police car and on the street in front of a pizzeria near the Times Square train station.
The second incident on New Year’s Eve happened a few blocks from where a man was stabbed eight times on Saturday. The photo is from the morning attack showing blood smeared on a police car and on the street in front of a pizzeria near Times Square.
An NYPD squad car seen earlier Saturday covered in blood after a man was stabbed eight times near where two officers were attacked just hours later.
The tourist-packed neighborhoods of Manhattan have increasingly become hotbeds of crime, where brazen thieves are leaving shopkeepers feeling powerless.
Fatal stabbings and cuts are up an alarming 37 percent in the Big Apple this year.
The New York Police Department has recorded 96 blade-related murders so far in 2022, compared with 70 in the same period in 2021, when those crimes were already up from previous years.
Overall, stabbings and slashings were up 10 percent for the year, at 4,344 compared to 3,954 last year.
Crime continues to rise in New York City.