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NYPD machete attacker pleads not guilty after facing more terrorism charges

One of the officers attacked suffered a fractured skull and severe injuries that required internal and external stitches


Trevor Bickford, the man accused of trying to murder NYPD officers on New Year’s Eve, pleaded not guilty to state terrorism charges.

Photo/YouTube via WHAS

By Molly Crane-Newman
New York Daily News

NEW YORK — The Maine teenager accused of trying to murder NYPD officers on New Year’s Eve in Times Square pleaded not guilty to state terrorism charges Wednesday.

Trevor Bickford appeared in state Supreme Court in Manhattan to enter his plea days after facing federal terrorism charges.

Prosecutors say the 19-year-old attacked three officers on patrol on Eighth Avenue near West 52nd Street with a machete-like short sword in a frenetic bid to murder men in uniform.

Rookie Officer Paul Cozzolino, 23, suffered a fractured skull and severe injuries that required internal and external stitches, according to court records. Bickford is accused of inflicting less severe injuries on officers Louis Iorio, and Michael Hanna, who shot him in the shoulder during the chaotic encounter.

“These brave officers were serving on the front lines so New Yorkers and visitors celebrating the new year could stay safe,” Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg said.

“The charges contained in the indictment demonstrate just how seriously we are treating this incident.”

Bickford pleaded not guilty to attempted murder in furtherance of terrorism, attempted murder and related assault charges. He appeared in federal court in Manhattan on Monday, where he faces four counts of attempted murder of officers and employees of the U.S. government and persons assisting them.

The teen from Wells, Maine, committed the brutal assaults after consuming materials promoting violent Islamic extremism and planned to die during the crime, according to federal court records. The Manhattan DA plans to call an expert in Islamic Jihadist ideology expert as a witness when the case goes to trial, legal papers say.

Bickford’s loved ones have said he was an honor-roll student and athlete before his rapid embrace of violent ideologies started.

He is being held in a federal jail while his cases play out, authorities said.

Bickford’s lawyer in his state case, Rosemary Vassallo, declined to comment.

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One of the officers was stabbed in the area of his neck and chest, the other was slashed in the head before one of them shot the assailant
Officer Brett Boller survived the shooting and the suspect was arrested and charged with attempted murder
The case evolved from a records request that was rejected on the grounds that unsubstantiated discipline records could be withheld to protect officers’ privacy
Bystander video shows officers deploying less lethal weapons before the man was shot by the officers