Three New York City Police Department officers were hospitalised after a man allegedly attacked them with a machete several blocks from New Year’s Eve celebrations in Times Square, according to officials.
A 19-year-old man allegedly armed with a machete approached the officers near West 52nd Street and Eighth Avenue around 10.10pm on 31 December, just outside a high-security zone where New Year revelers are screened at checkpoints entering Times Square.
The suspect allegedly attempted to strike one officer before striking the other two officers in the head with the blade, NYPD Commissioner Keechant Sewell announced at a late-night press conference addressing the “unprovoked” attack.
At least one officer fired at the suspect, who was struck in the shoulder and apprehended.
One officer was hospitalised with a fractured skull and a large laceration, and another has been treated for a bad cut. Both remain in stable condition, according to Ms Sewell.
Mayor Eric Adams said there are “no credible threats to New Yorkers at this time,” and federal law enforcement officials do not believe there are additional suspects.
The suspect’s name was not immediately provided by police; law enforcement officials told NBC News that they are reviewing whether the suspect had previously posted what they called jihadist writings online and traveled to New York to target police.
Four officials told NBC News that the suspect had been identified as Trevor Bickford from Wells, Maine. He was allegedly known to law enforcement agencies for his social media postings, according to officials speaking with NBC. He reportedly does not have a past criminal record.
“We are working with our federal partners for this investigation, and it is ongoing,” Ms Sewell said.
FBI assistant director for the New York field office Mike Driscoll told reporters during the press briefing that he wanted “to be very clear … there is no ongoing threat.”
“We believe this was a sole individual at this time,” he said. “There is nothing to indicate otherwise.”
Nearby celebrations were not impacted.
The city’s massive security operation around Times Square includes thousands of officers deployed in surrounding blocks, and crowds must pass through security checkpoints to view performances and the midnight ball drop. Large bags and coolers are also banned from the area.