The suspect in the New Year’s Eve machete attack now faces federal charges of attempted murder



CNN

The suspect in a New Year’s Eve machete attack on three New York City police officers has been charged with four counts of attempted murder, according to federal court documents, in addition to several formal charges already brought against him.

Trevor Pickford, 19, is charged with attempted murder of US government officers and employees and three counts of attempted murder of US government officers and employees and people assisting them, according to the complaint.

The complaint alleges in part that he intended to kill military-age men working for the US government and New York police officers working with the FBI to protect revelers.

“This past New Year’s Eve, revelers flocked to Times Square to celebrate the New Year with friends and family,” said U.S. Attorney Damian Williams. “But it is alleged that Trevor Beckford targeted the iconic annual celebration to carry out an outrageous act of violence and hate in the name of jihad.”

CNN has reached out to Federal Defenders of New York, which represents Bickford, for comment.

Pickford had previously been indicted on more than a dozen formal charges, including several counts of terrorism, according to the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office.

Rosemary Vassallo-Velucci, who is representing Pickford in this case, previously told CNN that her client must be presumed innocent.

Federal prosecutors included in the complaint images of body camera footage that allegedly shows Pickford during the attack, striking officers with the knife he allegedly used, a kukri.

If convicted of all charges in the federal case, Pickford could face up to 80 years in prison, according to prosecutors.

Prosecutors said the suspect traveled to New York “to kill people and carry out jihad.”

Authorities said Pickford entered the security area at the Times Square checkpoint on New Year’s Eve, where he allegedly pulled out a machete and struck one officer with the blade and struck another in the head with the handle. He then swung the blade in the direction of a third officer, who shot the suspect in the shoulder, according to the New York Police Department.

According to a criminal complaint, Pickford told authorities during his interview that he said “(God) is great” before he went up and hit the officer on the head with the gun.

Prosecutors in that case alleged that the suspect said all government officials were his target, because they “could not be true Muslims because the United States government supports Israel.”

The three officers were hospitalized in stable condition and have since been released.

The suspect had previously come to the attention of the FBI and was interviewed by federal agents last month in Maine after he said he wanted to go abroad to help fellow Muslims and was willing to die for his religion, several law enforcement officers said. .

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