The 19-year-old Maine man charged with making an attempt to homicide NYPD officers in a New 12 months’s Eve machete assault close to Occasions Sq. shortly earlier than the enduring ball drop was remanded to Division of Correction custody following his video arraignment from a hospital on Wednesday.
Trevor Bickford, whom senior legislation enforcement officers have described as a “homegrown violent extremist,” is accused of swinging a big knife at three totally different cops he approached on Eighth Avenue, between 51st and 52nd streets, simply after 10 p.m. on New 12 months’s Eve, an evening when midtown streets are jam-packed with vacationers and vacation revelers.
Bickford was shot within the shoulder amid the chaos that ensued. He remained hospitalized on Wednesday, however was away from bed to face a choose through video.
Protection attorneys with The Authorized Support Society requested that he be launched on his personal recognizance, saying police questioned him for days and not using a lawyer current and pointing to his lack of prison historical past. Counsel additionally referenced the Wells man’s group ties and stated he labored at a golf course.
“Earlier today, Mr. Bickford was arraigned from Bellevue Hospital after languishing in NYPD custody for nearly four days despite a well-established court requirement that an arraignment take place within 24 hours of arrest,” Authorized Support stated in an announcement Wednesday afternoon. “We’ve just received initial discovery from the District Attorney’s office, and we’ll have more to say about this case after a thorough review and investigation. For now, we ask the public to refrain from drawing hasty conclusions and to respect the privacy of our client’s family.”
The choose sided with the prosecution, ordered Bickford remanded after his arraignment.
Based on Lisa Nicholas, assistant district lawyer, Bickford allegedly made statements implicating himself within the assault and stated 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 stated 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 advised detectives.
Nicholas additionally argued that he poses a “significant flight risk,” telling the court docket Bickford indicated he supposed to journey throughout the USA after leaving New York Metropolis and had purchased an Amtrak ticket to Miami.
As neighbors describe the officer damage within the assault as a caring younger man, there are additionally questions on whether or not the suspect within the New 12 months’s Eve machete melee might have tried to succeed in for an officer’s gun. NBC New York’s Ida Siegal experiences.
Nicholas stated Bickford at first indicated he needed to journey internationally however determined as a substitute to come back to New York to hold out “jihad.” She stated he traveled to New York by means of Boston roughly three or 4 days in the past.
He additionally allegedly stated he thought of all authorities officers targets as a result of they could not be correct Muslims given the USA 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.
The choose ordered one other court docket listening to for the tip of the week.
Senior officers briefed on the assault described Bickford earlier this week as a “homegrown violent extremist motivated in part by Salafi-extremism.” They stated that after his arrest, he stated he was self-radicalized and that he had transformed his beliefs about three or 4 months in the past, officers stated.
Bickford solely just lately 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, in accordance with legislation enforcement officers. He stayed at a resort on the Bowery, senior police officers stated, and will have hung out 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 have been launched from the hospital the next morning.
NYPD Commissioner Keechant Sewell has stated two of the cops suffered blows to the top. An eight-year veteran suffered a head laceration and a latest police academy graduate endured a cranium fracture, she stated.
Investigators have stated they imagine Bickford acted alone. They deliberate to seek for extra proof at his Maine dwelling. Neighbors who knew the suspect and his household advised NBC Boston stated they have been shocked by the allegations.
The FBI’s Joint Terrorism Process Power 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 very least 10 terror-type assaults concentrating on uniformed officers with knives.
Mayor Eric Adams recommended the work of the officers and the police division’s safety planning that went into securing the world round Occasions 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 stated.
He’s anticipated again in court docket for a grand jury on Friday.
Police working New 12 months’s Eve element in Occasions Sq. have 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.