Suspect armed with machete attacks 3 NYPD officers during Times Square New Year’s Eve celebration

An attack near New York City’s Times Square New Year’s Eve celebration is being investigated as a possible act of terrorism after multiple police officers were struck by a machete-wielding suspect.

Hours after revelers had already begun filling Times Square to usher in 2023 by watching the ball drop, a reportedly “unprovoked” attack occurred nearby at West 52nd Street and 8th Avenue involving at least three NYPD officers. As described by NYPD Police Commissioner Keechant Sewell, a 19-year-old suspect allegedly struck one officer in the head with a machete before striking another and attempting to attack a third.

The suspect, said to be one Trevor Bickford of Maine, according to the New York Post, was stopped by one of the officers who fired a shot striking the alleged attacker in the shoulder. Moments captured on video after the incident showed panicked bystanders fleeing as police responded en masse to secure the scene.

While many initial reports described the attack as a stabbing, the wounds being treated at Bellevue Hospital, where the three officers were transported, were described as lacerations. Mayor Eric Adams (D) joined the commissioner at a press conference shortly after midnight where he explained that one of the officers, identified as Paul, was working his first shift after graduating Friday.

“The three officers were attacked today, they were doing their jobs. The jobs that members of the New York City Police Department and other first responders in law enforcement officers do every day,” the mayor said shortly after participating in the Times Square countdown. “And as we do a preliminary review of the body cam video, we see how well these officers executed the plan that was put in place by the New York City Police Department in ensuring we protect those who came here to bring in new year’s.”

In addition to a laceration on his head, the rookie experienced a skull fracture, but was reported to be in stable condition along with the eight-year-veteran who also had a laceration on his head.

Though no motive was assigned to the attack, the FBI’s assistant director in charge of the New York Field Office Michael Driscoll attended the press conference as well and spoke of the agency’s role in the investigation.

“I want to be clear that the FBI, through the Joint Terrorism Task Force, is working very closely with [NYPD] to determine the nature of the attack,” he said. “And we will run every lead to ground. I also want to be very clear, as you’ve heard said tonight previously, this is very much an ongoing investigation so our ability to talk about specifics is limited.”

Included among those leads was the possibility that the suspect may be a recently radicalized Islamic extremist based, the Post reported, based on his online postings. The suspect was also transported to Bellevue to be treated for his wounds.

Meanwhile, an additional officer was reportedly wounded in his efforts to clear a path for responding forces. As the cop moved a barricade, witnesses saw him struck by a police car. Bystander Kim Novack said to the Post, “They moved the barricades really fast. He was a police officer in front of the barricade area and he moved it for police cars to move fast — and that’s when the barricade fell and got hit by the car. He got double whammied.”

According to the outlet the officer was transported to nearby Mount Sinai West and was also expected to recover.

The attack was believed to be an isolated incident with no credible threats posed to the public, but that did not account for the ongoing violent crime in the city that left one man stabbed in the neck with scissors roughly an hour before the machete attack after two men got into a fight near West 42nd Street and 6th Avenue. Additionally, another man was stabbed “around eight times” hours earlier near West 40th Street and 7th Avenue according to the NYPD and was expected to recover from non-life-threatening injuries.

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Kevin Haggerty

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