Watch CBS News

Suspect charged with terrorism in New Year's Eve Times Square machete attack on NYPD officers

Man charged in machete attack on NYC cops
Man charged in machete attack that injured NYPD officers 00:37

A suspect is facing terrorism charges in connection with a machete attack which wounded two NYPD officers in Times Square on New Year's Eve.

Trevor Bickford, 19, has been indicted by a grand jury on multiple counts, including first-degree attempted murder, first-degree attempted murder in the furtherance of an act of terrorism and aggravated assault on a police officer as a crime of terrorism, the Manhattan District Attorney's Office reported Friday. In total, he faces 18 felony counts.

In the late night hours of Dec. 31, a suspect, later identified as Bickford, targeted three officers with a machete, the NYPD reported.

Machete Attack Times Square New Year's Eve
New York City Police Commissioner Keechant Sewell addresses the media during a news conference on Jan. 1, 2023. A man wielding a machete attacked three police officers at the New Year's Eve celebration in New York City, authorities said.  NYPD via AP

Two officers were struck in the head and had to be hospitalized, NYPD Police Commissioner Keechant Sewell said. The suspect also tried to attack a third officer just outside a designated high-security zone surrounding the Times Square festivities. All three are expected to recover.

The suspect was himself wounded in the attack when one police officer fired a gun that struck him in the shoulder, authorities said. Bickford was arrested at the scene.

Law enforcement sources told CBS News earlier this week that Bickford — who is from Wells, Maine — had recently been added to the FBI's terror watchlist. A high-ranking police source told CBS New York Bickford was placed on the list after his aunt reported that he had been radicalized online and expressed a desire to travel overseas and join Islamic extremists.

Two law enforcement sources told CBS News that Bickford traveled from Maine to New York City and spent the night before the attack at a homeless shelter downtown. They said investigators are executing search warrants at his residence and are combing through cellphone data, social media accounts and financial records.

The sources also said a notebook was found in the suspect's backpack with writings about wanting to go to Afghanistan and train to become a holy warrior. They said there was also a note addressed to his family.

"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," Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg said in a statement Friday. "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."

Bickford is scheduled to be arraigned Feb. 1, the district attorney's office said.

— Emily Mae Czachor and Pat Milton contributed to this report.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.