Times Square stabbing: Man receives 27-year prison sentence for attacking 3 officers on New Year’s Eve

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

Prosecutors said that Bickford, who was 19 years old at the time of the attack, arrived in Maine in December 2022 with the intention of carrying out a jihadist attack on uniformed officers using a “machete-style knife.”

In January, he admitted his guilt for six federal charges connected to the attack. These charges include 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 lifetime of supervised release in addition to serving his prison term.

“The 2022 terrorist attack in Times Square, in which Trevor Bickford deliberately sought to kill three NYPD officers, is now met with accountability,” stated U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland. The Justice Department commends the NYPD for their swift and courageous response in thwarting this New Year’s Eve attack, as well as their ongoing efforts to ensure the safety of New Yorkers. The Justice Department remains fully committed to collaborating with state and local law enforcement agencies in combating the terrorism threat. Our unwavering dedication extends to the relentless prosecution of individuals who intend to harm law enforcement officers.”

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

The government has requested a minimum prison sentence of 50 years, stating that it is crucial to reflect the extremely grave nature of the defendant’s terrorism offense. They argue that a just punishment is necessary to deter the defendant from engaging in further activities that support radical terrorist ideology. Additionally, they aim to discourage others who may be inclined to carry out brutal terrorist attacks on U.S. soil, similar to the defendant.

According to prosecutors, Bickford’s actions were described as “brutal” and had a lasting impact on the three officers. The officers firmly believe that a life sentence is fitting for the severity of the crime.

The defense, on the other hand, requested a 10-year prison term, followed by 15 years of supervised release. In their pre-sentencing court filing, they emphasized the defendant’s young age during the attack as a significant mitigating factor. They further argued that his crimes were influenced by an untreated mental illness, which manifested as an unhealthy obsession with Islam.

In a heartfelt statement, Mr. Bickford’s attorneys express his sincere apologies to the officers, their families, and the witnesses present that night. They emphasize his deep recognition of the pain and suffering he has caused and his unwavering desire to undo the past. Despite the impossibility of changing what has already transpired, Mr. Bickford remains committed to transforming his future for the better. Despite the challenging circumstances he faces at the Metropolitan Detention Center, he has persevered and made significant efforts towards personal growth.

On December 31, 2022, three NYPD officers were stationed at a checkpoint near the Times Square periphery. It was during this time that they were unexpectedly stabbed with an 18-inch kukri knife. The incident took place outside the secure area designated for the New Year’s Eve festivities, specifically near West 52nd Street and Eighth Avenue.

Bickford, the suspect in the attack, was apprehended by law enforcement after being shot by one of the injured officers. During their investigation, authorities discovered Bickford’s backpack near the scene of the incident. Prosecutors revealed that a book found inside the backpack had a highlighted passage which read, “Fight in the Name of Allah and in the Cause of Allah. Fight against those who do not believe in Allah. Wage a holy war.”

According to the complaint from the Southern District of New York, Bickford allegedly informed investigators that the attack was unsuccessful. He claimed that none of the officers died and that he did not achieve martyrdom.

Bickford is also confronting over a dozen state charges related to the New Year’s Eve attack, which comprises three counts of attempted first-degree murder in connection with an act of terrorism. A court appearance for the state case has been set for May 22.

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