New Year’s Eve Times Square stabbing results in 27-year prison sentence for perpetrator

Trevor Bickford received a 27-year federal prison sentence on Thursday for a bold knife attack that took place in Times Square on New Year’s Eve in 2022. The attack left three officers of the New York City Police Department seriously injured, according to the Department of Justice.

In December 2022, Bickford, a 19-year-old from Maine, arrived with the intention of carrying out a jihadist attack on uniformed officers using a “machete-style knife,” according to prosecutors.

In January, he admitted his guilt to six federal charges related to the attack. These charges included three counts of attempted murder of government officials and three counts of assault on government officials.

Bickford, who is now 20 years old, has been sentenced to a prison term as well as a lifetime of supervised release.

“The premeditated terrorist attack that took place in Times Square in 2022, where Trevor Bickford attempted to kill three NYPD officers in a violent rampage, has led to his accountability today,” stated U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland. He expressed gratitude to the NYPD for their swift actions and bravery in thwarting this New Year’s Eve attack, as well as for their ongoing efforts to ensure the safety of New Yorkers. The Justice Department remains committed to supporting and collaborating with local law enforcement agencies in countering the terrorism threat, and this includes the relentless prosecution of individuals who pose a danger to officers.”

Bickford was potentially looking at a maximum sentence of 120 years in prison, with 20 years for each charge.

The government is seeking a minimum prison sentence of 50 years, emphasizing the need to reflect the extremely serious nature of the defendant’s terrorism offense. They argue that such a sentence is necessary to ensure just punishment for the defendant’s conduct, deter them from engaging in further activities supporting radical terrorist ideology, and discourage others who may contemplate carrying out brutal terrorist attacks on U.S. soil.

According to prosecutors, Bickford’s actions were deemed as brutal and have had lasting effects on the three officers. These officers firmly believe that a life sentence would be justified in this case.

The defense, on the other hand, requested a 10-year prison term, followed by 15 years of supervised release. In their court filing prior to the sentencing, they emphasized his young age during the attack as a significant mitigating factor. They further contended that his offenses were driven by an untreated mental illness, which stemmed from an unhealthy obsession with Islam.

Mr. Bickford’s attorneys expressed his profound apologies to the officers, their families, and the witnesses involved in the incident that night. They acknowledged the pain and suffering caused by his actions and emphasized his strong desire to undo the harm caused. While Mr. Bickford understands that he cannot alter the past, he remains committed to improving his future despite the difficult circumstances he faces at the Metropolitan Detention Center.

On December 31, 2022, three NYPD officers were stationed at a checkpoint on the outskirts of Times Square when they were stabbed by an assailant wielding a sharp 18-inch kukri knife. The incident took place near the intersection of West 52nd Street and Eighth Avenue, just outside the designated secure zone for the New Year’s Eve festivities.

According to the complaint from the Southern District of New York, Bickford reportedly admitted to investigators that the attack was unsuccessful because none of the officers died and because he did not achieve martyrdom.

According to prosecutors, Bickford meticulously devised a plan to carry out an attack in Times Square. They revealed that he had undergone several months of radicalization, initially intending to travel abroad to assist the Taliban. However, he eventually shifted his focus to launching an assault within the United States.

Bickford is also confronting more than a dozen state charges related to the New Year’s Eve attack. These charges include three counts of attempted first-degree murder in furtherance of an act of terrorism. His court appearance for the state case is set for May 22.

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