Suspect in Times Square machete attack faces federal charges

Suspect in Times Square machete attack faces federal charges

The 19-year-old suspect accused of attacking three cops with a machete close to Times Square on New 12 months’s Eve has been charged with federal crimes, the U.S. Division of Justice stated Tuesday.

Trevor Bickford of Maine traveled to Manhattan particularly to kill People in the identify of jihad, the DOJ stated. Officers have been posted on the nook of West 52nd and eighth Avenue after 10 p.m. on New 12 months’s Eve when the attack occurred, in the end ending with Bickford being shot in the shoulder.

The suspect allegedly shouted “Allahu Akbar” — an Arabic phrase which means “God is great,” as he carried out the attack, federal officials said Tuesday. Two of the officers suffered head wounds in the attack. They were treated at Bellevue Hospital and released.

The DOJ said Bickford was charged with four counts of attempted murder of officers and employees of the U.S. government and persons assisting them, each of which carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison. He was placed in state custody and will be transported to Manhattan federal court at a later date to face the federal charges filed in the Southern District of New York.

“Bickford’s alleged attack in one of the most visited destinations in the world on its busiest night of the year ironically only served to spotlight the coordination, resolve, and dedication of American law enforcement to guard the wellbeing of the public,” said U.S. Attorney Damian Williams. “We sincerely thank our law enforcement partners for their outstanding work and bravery, and especially wish a full and speedy recovery to the officers injured in this senseless attack.”

He was already arraigned final week in state court docket on three counts of trying to homicide a police officer. If convicted of the highest cost in opposition to him, Bickford faces a compulsory sentence of life in jail.

Protection counsel Rosemary Vassallo-Vellucci of the Authorized Support Society requested that Bickford be launched whereas he awaits trial as a result of his younger age, the truth that this was his first arrest and since he has a job. The request was denied.

“For now, we ask the general public to chorus from drawing hasty conclusions and to respect the privateness of our consumer’s household,” the Legal Aid Society said in a previous statement.

According to the complaint charging him, Bickford allegedly started consuming materials “espousing radical Islamic ideology, together with supplies selling the Taliban and reflecting the teachings of Abu Muhammad al-Maqdisi” during the summer. By November, federal officials alleged he was interested in traveling to the Middle East to support the Taliban and dedicated himself to the mission of waging jihad against officials of governments he believed to be anti-Muslim, including the U.S. Government.

“As detailed in today’s complaint, we allege that the defendant plotted a jihad-inspired attack targeting U.S. government officials, and on December 31st, 2022, attacked three NYPD officers who were part of the joint federal-state law enforcement operation protecting the Times Square New Year’s Eve celebration,” stated Legal professional Normal Merrick Garland. “We are deeply grateful for the bravery of the officers who were injured in this horrible attack and who put their lives on the line every day to serve their communities.”

Contributed reporting by Isidoro Rodriguez.

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