Authorities stated Monday that they had apprehended a man accused of attempting to murder police officers after he allegedly attacked them with a machete on New Year’s Eve close to Times Square in New York.
They are also looking into the man’s possible links to Islamic terrorism.
The attack on two policemen at the border of the high-security area where hordes of new year’s revelers were congregated resulted in attempted assault charges against Trevor Bickford, 19, the New York Police Department said in a news release.
Bickford, a resident of Wells, Maine, was shot in the shoulder during the altercation by police, and he was still hospitalized on Monday.
It wasn’t immediately clear if he had a lawyer to respond to the accusations while he was waiting to be arraigned.
Investigators think Bickford traveled to New York City earlier in the week, a law enforcement official familiar with the case told the AP on Sunday.
According to the official, they investigate if he traveled intentionally to attack cops at the Times Square celebrations.
According to the official, detectives are looking through Bickford’s online comments, which included some mentions of Islamic extremist views, as New York City police and federal officials continue to search for motivation.
The official talked to the AP under the condition of anonymity because he could not publicly disclose specifics of the ongoing inquiry.
Investigators think the assailant acted alone, according to Michael Driscoll, the associate director in charge of the FBI’s New York field office, who made the statement on Sunday.
Monday, FBI representatives in Boston and New York declined to comment on the ongoing investigation.
It is a “very active inquiry,” according to Kristen Setera, a spokesperson for the Boston field office.
On Sunday night, Bickford’s family residence in Wells, a well-liked beach town near the New Hampshire border, was seen with FBI officers entering it. Bickford participated in extracurricular activities while in high school, helped the Maine wrestling team win the 2020 state championship, and at least once made the honor roll.
On Monday, the Wells High School principal declined to comment. The wrestling coach received messages requesting comments.
2018 saw the untimely death of Bickford’s father, according to an online obituary.
The machete attack occurred on Saturday just outside the area where people are inspected for weapons before entering one of the world’s biggest and most renowned New Year’s festivities around two hours before midnight.
Before a cop shot the offender, two of the officers were injured by the machete, according to the authorities.
While the other cop has a nasty cut, one of the officers has a cracked skull. The suspect and both were anticipated to make a full recovery.
The attack briefly forced some people to flee, but Times Square’s celebrations went on as usual.