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NYPD: 3 officers attacked with machete blocks from Times Square on New Year's Eve

Times Square machete attack suspect remains hospitalized
Times Square machete attack suspect remains hospitalized 03:10

NEW YORK -- The NYPD and FBI investigation into a machete attack on three police officers near Times Square on Saturday night now spans from New York City to Maine, where the suspect is from.

A high-ranking police source told CBS2 the 19-year-old suspect, identified as Trevor Bickford, was recently placed on an FBI terror watchlist, because his aunt reported he had been radicalized online and expressed a desire to travel overseas and fight with Islamic extremists.

Watch Tim McNicholas' report

Maine home searched in investigation of machete attack on NYPD officers 02:23

The crime scene was clear on Sunday, but the unsettling memories of chaos remained.

"It was nuts for about a good hour," Hell's Kitchen neighbor Stefan Shanni said.

Shanni lives near 52nd Street and Eighth Avenue, and at first thought the commotion was related to the New Year's Eve ball drop festivities nearby.

"I heard a lot of people screaming and yelling and I saw the sirens and it was total chaos," Shanni said.

Police say at around 10 p.m., the 19-year-old man, unprovoked, tried to strike an officer in the head with a machete and then struck two other officers with the weapon, causing cuts and fracturing the skull of one of the officers.

One of the officers shot in the man in the shoulder.

Early Sunday morning, Mayor Eric Adams said one of the injured officers just graduated from the Police Academy on Friday.

"Which just goes to show you, if it's not your first day, it could be your last day. The actions that police officers must take every day are life-threatening situations," Adams said.

CBS2 has learned all three officers have been released from the hospital. Adams said he spoke with one of them as he was being treated.

"He was in good spirits. He understood how his role saved lives of New Yorkers today," the mayor said.

Police are looking into how the suspect got to New York and his motive. Sources told CBS2 the NYPD was not previously aware the suspect was on an FBI watchlist or that he traveled to New York.

The attack happened just outside of the NYPD's high security zone for New Year's Eve festivities.

"We were in Times Square right in the middle of it and didn't notice, which means, obviously, the police are doing a great job here," said Ronny, a tourist from Sydney, Australia.

CBS2 has also learned investigators are searching for clues in Wells, Maine, where the suspect is from. He is expected to survive his injuries.

Anyone with any information is asked to call the NYPD's Crime Stoppers hotline at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477), or for Spanish, 1-888-57-PISTA (74782). You can also submit a tip via their website or via DM on Twitter, @NYPDTips. All calls are kept confidential.

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