NYC machete attacker arrested, faces expenses of tried homicide

The suspect who attacked three New York Metropolis cops with a machete simply exterior a safety checkpoint for New 12 months’s Eve celebrations in Occasions Sq. and expressed militant help for Islam was arrested Monday and is dealing with two counts of tried homicide, police mentioned.

Trevor Bickford, a 19-year-old resident of Wells, Maine — a city practically 300 miles from Occasions Sq. — can also be dealing with expenses of two counts of tried assault for the violent assault, police mentioned.

A spokesperson for the Manhattan District Legal professional’s Workplace instructed NBC Information Monday afternoon it’s unclear when he will probably be arraigned “primarily based on various components.”

Officers mentioned Sunday the assault occurred shortly after 10 p.m. at West 52nd Avenue and eighth Avenue, simply exterior high-security checkpoints that celebrants needed to cross by. At that information convention, Bickford was solely recognized as “a 19-year-old man”; police confirmed his id Monday.

The assault started when Bickford approached an officer and tried to strike him over the top with the machete earlier than placing two officers within the head with the blade, Police Commissioner Keechant Sewell mentioned. He was then shot within the shoulder and apprehended by police, Sewell mentioned.

The three officers had been hospitalized, in accordance with Sewell, who mentioned one had a fractured cranium and one other had a nasty lower. They had been discharged from Bellevue Hospital in a single day.

NBC New York reported that Paul Cozzolino, Jr. is the officer who suffered the fractured cranium and had simply graduated from the police academy the day earlier than the assault.

Three regulation enforcement officers with direct data of the investigation instructed NBC Information late Sunday that authorities had been investigating whether or not the suspect reached for one of many officers’ service weapons throughout their takedown.

4 regulation enforcement sources briefed on the investigation mentioned federal brokers knew the suspects after having interviewed him in mid-December after a relative alerted them he had expressed militant help for Islam. He was additionally recognized to investigators on account of his social media postings, the 4 officers mentioned, including that Bickford doesn’t have a prison file.

The sources added that Bickford is believed to have traveled from Wells to decrease Manhattan on Thursday primarily by way of Amtrak. Investigators are additionally trying into whether or not Bickford might have stayed at a homeless shelter upon arrival, the 4 officers mentioned.

A diary discovered by investigators contained details about who ought to inherit his belongings and the place he wished to be buried ought to he die within the assault, the sources mentioned. It additionally mentioned he regretted disappointing his mom and that he hoped his brothers would be part of him in his combat for Islam, they mentioned, including that his background additionally contained terrorist-related propaganda and private writings. Bickford additionally made pro-jihadist statements from his hospital mattress in a single day, in accordance with the sources.

FBI brokers had been exterior Bickford’s Wells house on Sunday, NBC affiliate WCSH of Portland, Maine reported.

Neighbors instructed NBC affiliate WJAR of Windfall, Rhode Island they had been shocked by the assault.

“I’m like, blown away to suppose so near house that somebody would love go all the best way to New York and commit the crime,” Bethanne Brunelle instructed the native outlet.

“Wells is a really small group and also you suppose, ‘Did this actually simply occur right here?'” neighbor Steve Isles mentioned.

Mithil Aggarwal, Tom Winter, Jonathan Dienst and Myles Miller contributed.

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