The Maine teenager accused of attempting to homicide NYPD officers in a New Yr’s Eve machete assault close to Instances Sq. amid throngs of revelers was indicted on a slew of terror-related fees, the district legal professional’s workplace mentioned.
Trevor Bickford was indicted Friday on terror fees together with tried homicide, assault and aggravated assault on a police officer, based on the Manhattan DA. In all, Bickford faces 18 counts towards him for the alleged Dec. 31 assault on three cops he approached on Eighth Avenue between 51st and 52nd streets simply after 10 p.m.
“We are grateful for our NYPD officers who put their lives on the line every day to keep us safe, as well as our Joint Terrorism Task Force Partners. All eyes are on Times Square on New Year’s Eve and these charges reflect the seriousness of this alleged threat to the safety of our city and our officers,” mentioned DA Alvin Bragg.
Senior legislation enforcement officers have described the 19-year-old as a “homegrown violent extremist” who tried to hold out the assault with a big knife on an evening when midtown streets are jam-packed. Bickford was shot within the shoulder amid the chaos that ensued. He has remained hospitalized in Division of Correction custody within the days following the alleged incident, and is predicted to be arraigned in Supreme Court docket on Feb. 1.
Protection attorneys with The Authorized Support Society requested earlier within the week that Bickford be launched on his personal recognizance, saying police questioned him for days with no lawyer current and pointing to his lack of felony historical past. Authorized Support mentioned that he had been “languishing in NYPD custody for nearly four days despite a well-established court requirement that an arraignment take place within 24 hours of arrest.”
In line with Lisa Nicholas, assistant district legal professional, Bickford allegedly made statements implicating himself within the assault and mentioned he indicated that he deliberately waited till the second when an officer was remoted, away from civilians, to assault. After he allegedly dropped the knife, Nicholas mentioned Bickford indicated he needed to seize one other officer’s gun to kill different folks however could not get the weapon out of the holster.
“I wanted to kill an officer in uniform. I saw the office and waited until he was alone. I said ‘Allauh Akbar.’ I walked up and hit him over the head with a kukri. I charged another officer but dropped the knife and I tried to get the police officer’s gun but couldn’t,” Bickford allegedly informed detectives.
Nicholas additionally argued that he poses a “significant flight risk,” telling the courtroom Bickford indicated he meant to journey throughout the US after leaving New York Metropolis and had purchased an Amtrak ticket to Miami. Nicholas mentioned Bickford at first indicated he needed to journey internationally however determined as a substitute to return to New York to hold out “jihad.”
As neighbors describe the officer harm within the assault as a caring younger man, there are additionally questions on whether or not the suspect within the New Yr’s Eve machete melee could have tried to achieve for an officer’s gun. NBC New York’s Ida Siegal experiences.
He additionally allegedly mentioned he thought of all authorities officers targets as a result of they could not be correct Muslims given the US authorities’s help of Israel.
“He stated he specifically targeted the uniformed police officer because an officer is a man in uniform with a weapon and often in the military are targets for the defendant,” Nicholas added as she formally requested remand.
Senior officers briefed on the assault described Bickford earlier this week as a “homegrown violent extremist motivated in part by Salafi-extremism.” They mentioned that after his arrest, he mentioned he was self-radicalized and that he had transformed his beliefs about three or 4 months in the past, officers mentioned.
Bickford solely not too long ago thought of New York as a goal, officers allege, and determined to go ahead with the assault as soon as he bought to town after taking an Amtrak practice from Boston on Dec. 29, based on legislation enforcement officers. He stayed at a resort on the Bowery, senior police officers mentioned, and should have frolicked earlier than the assault in Queens.
Investigators discovered a few of his belongings in Forest Park Monday morning.
All three officers Bickford is accused of attacking had been launched from the hospital the next morning.
NYPD Commissioner Keechant Sewell has mentioned two of the cops suffered blows to the pinnacle. An eight-year veteran suffered a head laceration and a current police academy graduate endured a cranium fracture, she mentioned.
Investigators have mentioned they consider Bickford acted alone. They deliberate to seek for extra proof at his Maine residence within the city of Wells. Neighbors who knew the suspect and his household informed NBC Boston mentioned they had been shocked by the allegations.
The FBI’s Joint Terrorism Job Pressure is aiding within the investigation.
This incident follows different lone-wolf terror-type assaults on NYPD officers. In 2014, a radicalized man attacked three officers with a hatchet with out warning in Queens. And two years in the past, a person stabbed a Brooklyn officer within the neck earlier than stealing his gun and utilizing it to fireside at responding officers in one other jihadist-inspired lone-wolf assault.
Since 9/11, there have been at the least 10 terror-type assaults concentrating on uniformed officers with knives.
Mayor Eric Adams counseled the work of the officers and the police division’s safety planning that went into securing the realm round Instances Sq. within the aftermath of the assault.
“Those officers discharged one round. Concern about the safety of everyone was there, they immediately terminated the threat. One round, and they went back to protecting the people of this city,” Adams mentioned.
Police working New Yr’s Eve element in Instances Sq. had been wounded by a machete-wielding man who struck a number of officers within the head in what legislation enforcement are investigating as a doable focused assault. NBC New York’s Myles Miller experiences.