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Suspect in Times Square machete attack on New Year’s Eve arrested and faces attempted murder charges



CNN

A 19-year-old suspect charged with attacking a New York police officer with a machete near Times Square on New Year’s Eve has been arrested and charged with attempted murder of a police officer.

Police recommend that suspect Trevor Bickford be charged with two counts of attempted murder of a police officer and two counts of attempted assault in an attack.

The Manhattan District Attorney’s Office said it did not yet know the details of when Bickford would be arraigned.

The formal arrest came two days after Bickford allegedly attacked a police officer at a security screening area outside Times Square, the center of New York’s famous New Year’s Eve celebrations.

Shortly after 10 p.m., he went to a Times Square checkpoint on West 52nd Street and Eighth Avenue, where officers checked his bags for weapons and suspicious items, NYPD Police Commissioner Keecchant Sewell and police said. rice field.

In the security area, sources said, Bickford pulled out a machete, struck one officer with a knife and another over the head with a hilt, and brandished the blade at the third officer. The third officer shot Bickford in the shoulder. New York City Police Department. The officer was treated and released.

For the past two days, Bickford has been in custody at Bellevue Hospital, under police surveillance and being treated for a gunshot wound, sources said.

Even before the attack, Bickford was under FBI surveillance.

Law enforcement sources said Mr. Bickford was interviewed by FBI agents in Maine in mid-December.

Bickford’s mother and grandmother became increasingly concerned about his desire to travel to Afghanistan to join the Taliban and reported him to the Wells, Maine Police Department on December 10.

Sources say that when the FBI launched a broader investigation, they also put him on the terrorist watch list. The Taliban is not a designated foreign terrorist organization, so his plan to travel to Afghanistan to join the group does not constitute a federal crime of “attempting to materially support a terrorist group.”

Multiple law enforcement sources told CNN that Bickford traveled to New York via Amtrak so he wouldn’t have been caught on the watch list database.

His original destination was Miami, but he stopped in New York and checked into the Grand Hotel near Manhattan’s Bowery on December 29. After checking out with all his luggage on New Year’s Eve, he headed to Times Square. attack, sources said.

The diary, which investigators believe belongs to the suspect, ends with a last will and testament. Multiple law enforcement sources said the final entry, dated Dec. 31, began with “This could be my last entry,” explaining how the author’s belongings were divided among family members. and instructions on his burial. According to a source familiar with the contents of the diary.

Sources say the diary expresses a desire to join the Taliban and was found in a discarded bag prior to the attack.

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