A potentially dangerous situation in Times Square was averted this morning, thanks to vigilant photographer Richard Moore who alerted the NYPD about a man menacing a group of musicians with a knife, leading to his swift arrest.
Hell’s Kitchen photographer Moore saw the man “waving a knife around and yelling” at just after 10am on 7th Avenue/Broadway between W43/44th Street.
“The knifeman was agitated and shouting and holding a blade,” said Moore. “He jumped down and followed this group of musicians. He got so close as to be able to touch one of them on the shoulder with his left hand, holding the blade — more than 6 inches — in his right hand. This guy has no idea how close he was to extreme danger.”
Moore described how the knifeman backed off from them and got back onto a granite block on the plaza. “I called 911 and within 15 minutes an NYPD team had arrived. One grabbed him from behind, he was disarmed and then they struggled with him a bit to get him under control and in cuffs.”
“He was taken down very quickly and pretty peacefully. The cops did a great job,” said Moore.
This is not the first knife incident in the area in recent times. On New Year’s Eve, Trevor Bickford, a 19-year-old from Maine who had recently converted to Islam, attacked three police officers north of Times Square. Bickford allegedly proclaimed “Allahu akbar” before striking an officer with a long knife, known as a kukri, causing a fractured skull. He was arrested after attempting to seize an officer’s firearm. In January, prosecutors said Bickford traveled to New York with the intent of committing murder, viewing government officials and men of military age as legitimate targets due to their support for Israel. Bickford’s aunt, however, claimed he was suffering from depression. Bickford was shot during his arrest and attended court virtually from the hospital and was charged with attempted murder and assault. Despite initial expectations, he was not charged with terrorism.
NYPD had no further details on the incident. Times Square Alliance had received a report of the incident from their public safety team. We will update this story as we receive more information.