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NYPD Officer Attacked With Hatchet Gets Medal Of Honor

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) -- A New York City police officer severely wounded in a brazen daylight hatchet attack received the NYPD's highest honor.

Officer Kenneth Healey bowed his head as the Medal of Honor was draped across his shoulders Tuesday, 1010 WINS' Juliet Papa reported.

In October 2014, Healey and three other officers were patrolling a bustling Queens commercial district when a man charged at them with an 18-inch hatchet in an incident described by Police Commissioner Bill Bratton at the time as a terror attack.

Healey was gashed in the head. Officer Joseph Meeker was hit in the arm.

A bystander was wounded by a bullet when police shot and killed the suspect, Zale Thompson, who had ranted against America. Thompson was a convert to Islam who had been visiting websites affiliated with terror groups. Police believe he was self-radicalized.

"When we got into his computer, dealt with his family, clearly in the month preceding the event in which he attacked our officers with a hatchet, he was focused entirely on issues involving radical Islam," Bratton said.

Healey needed numerous surgeries after suffering a shattered skull. He returned to the force more than a year later.

All four officers were honored on Tuesday. Meeker received the Medal of Valor.

At the ceremony, a moment of silence was held for the victims of Sunday's mass shooting in Orlando, and Mayor Bill de Blasio and Bratton also underscored efforts in New York to protect the city, Papa reported.

(TM and © Copyright 2016 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2016 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)


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