A 19-year-old suspect accused of attacking a New York police officer with a machete near Times Square on New Year’s Eve has been arrested and faces charges of attempted murder of an officer.
The NYPD said officers recommended that the suspect, Trevor Bickford, be charged with two counts of attempted murder and attempted assault.
The Manhattan District Attorney’s Office said they did not yet have details on when Bickford was arraigned. It is unclear whether he has an attorney.
The formal arrest came two days after Bickford allegedly assaulted police officers at a security checkpoint outside Times Square, the center of the city’s famous New Year’s Eve celebrations.
NYPD Commissioner Keechant Sewell and police said he went to the Times Square checkpoint at West 52nd Street and 8th Avenue just after 10 p.m., where officers checked luggage for weapons or suspicious items.
In the safe area, Bickford allegedly pulled out a machete, hit one officer with the blade and another officer in the head with the handle before swinging the blade at a third officer, sources said. , the latter shot Bickford in the shoulder. NYPD. The officers have been treated and released.
For the past two days, Bickford has been in custody and under police guard at Bellevue Hospital, where he was being treated for gunshot wounds, the source said.
Even before the attack, Bickford was on the FBI’s radar.
Bickford was interviewed by FBI agents in Maine in mid-December after saying he wanted to go abroad to help fellow Muslims and was willing to die for his religion, according to multiple law enforcement sources.
Bickford’s mother and grandmother became increasingly concerned about his desire to travel to Afghanistan to join the Taliban, and they reported the matter to the Wells, Maine, Police Department on Dec. 10 out of concern for him, sources said .
When the FBI launched a broader investigation, they also placed him on a terrorist watch list, according to sources. Because the Taliban is not designated as a foreign terrorist entity, planning to travel to Afghanistan to join the group does not constitute a federal crime of “attempting to provide material support to a terrorist organization.”
Multiple law enforcement sources told CNN that Bickford traveled to New York on Amtrak, so those trips would not trigger any watch list databases.
His original destination was Miami, but he stopped in New York and checked into the Grand Hotel near the Bowery in Manhattan on Dec. 29, sources said. On New Year’s Eve, he checked out with all his luggage before allegedly machete… attacking in Times Square, sources said.
A diary that investigators believe belonged to the suspect ended in a will. According to multiple law enforcement sources, the last record, dated December 31, begins with “this may be my last record” and goes on to leave instructions on how the author’s property was divided among family members and buried His account, according to a source familiar with the contents of the diary.
According to sources, the diary expressed a desire to join the Taliban and was found in a bag that had been discarded before the attack.