NEW YORK CITY (WABC) -- Trevor Bickford "wanted to kill an officer in uniform" when he allegedly charged three New York City cops who were working a security checkpoint near Times Square on New Year's Eve, according to a criminal complaint unsealed Wednesday.
Bickford, 19, of Wells, ME, appeared before a judge for the first time from his hospital bed and was remanded into custody. He is charged with attempted murder, assault, and attempted assault and faces a mandatory life sentence if convicted.
Police are calling him a self-radicalized Islamic extremist.
Bickford was shot in the shoulder after he allegedly shouted "Allahu Akbar" and charged at officers who were screening revelers waiting to view the Times Square ball drop.
"I wanted to kill an officer in uniform," the complaint quoted Bickford as telling police. "I saw the officer and waited until he was alone. I said 'Allahu Akbar.' I walked up and hit him over the head with a kukri. I charged another officer but dropped the knife and I tried to get the police officer's gun but couldn't."
Bickford was ordered held without bail by a Manhattan judge who determined him to be "a significant flight risk."
Prosecutors said Bickford purposely waited for a moment when the officers were alone and separated from the civilians in order to attack.
During the attack, he dropped his knife and attempted to grab the firearm from the holster from one of the injured police officers. He claimed all government officials "cannot be proper Muslims because of US support for Israel," prosecutors said.
Mayor Eric Adams said in a separate press conference that the three officers demonstrated how well the NYPD training regimen works when used in real-world situation.
"Those officers discharged one round," Adams said. "Concerned about the safety of everyone that was there, they immediately terminated the threat. One round, and then went back to protecting the people of the city. That's the training I'm talking about."
Bickford, who did not enter a plea, was represented by an attorney from the Legal Aid Society who pointed out Bickford's lack of criminal history and employment history at a local golf course in Maine.
The Legal Aid Society issued the following statement as counsel for Trevor Bickford:
"Trevor Bickford, who is just a teenager, has no prior contact with the criminal legal system. Earlier today, Mr. Bickford was arraigned from Bellevue Hospital after languishing in NYPD custody for nearly four days despite a well-established court requirement that an arraignment take place within 24 hours of arrest. We've just received initial discovery from the District Attorney's office, and we'll have more to say about this case after a thorough review and investigation. For now, we ask the public to refrain from drawing hasty conclusions and to respect the privacy of our client's family."
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