Machete-wielding man attacks NYPD at New Year’s Eve event | New York
A machete-wielding man attacked three police officers during New Year’s Eve celebrations in New York, authorities said, hitting two of them in the head before an officer shot him in the shoulder .
Authorities were investigating whether the man was inspired by radical Islamist extremism, according to a law enforcement official familiar with the matter.
The attack happened a little after 10 p.m., about eight blocks from Times Square, just outside the high-security area where revelers are checked for weapons.
Both officers were hospitalized, one with a fractured skull and the other with a bad cut, and were expected to recover.
Police have not identified the 19-year-old suspect, who was also expected to recover, but the law enforcement official identified him to The Associated Press as Trevor Bickford, of Wells, Maine.
Investigators believe Bickford traveled to New York earlier in the week and are investigating whether he came to New York specifically to attack police officers during one of the world’s largest New Year’s Eve celebrations, the report said. responsible for law enforcement.
New York police and federal officials are still trying to discern a motive, and investigators have reviewed Bickford’s online posts, which included mentions of Islamic extremist views, the official said. The official could not publicly discuss details of the ongoing investigation and spoke to AP on condition of anonymity.
The attack and the sound of a gunshot briefly sent a few people running through the crowd, but the incident had no impact on the festivities in Times Square, which continued uninterrupted.
Mayor Eric Adams told a news conference he spoke to one of the injured officers as he was stitched up in hospital.
“He was in good spirits,” Adams said. “He understood that his role saved the lives of New Yorkers today.”
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.
Keechant Sewell, the police commissioner, said: “We are working with our federal partners on this investigation and it is ongoing…there are no active threats at this time.
The NYPD mounts a massive security operation each year to keep the New Year’s crowd safe. Thousands of officers are sent to the area, including many new recruits.
One of the injured officers just graduated from the police academy on Friday, the mayor said.
The blocks where the biggest crowds gather to see the performances and the Midnight Ball drop are only accessible through checkpoints where officers use metal detecting rods to detect weapons.