An Offaly-born off-duty NYPD detective has been released from hospital in New York after being struck in the head by a man with a 28cm cleaver.
Brian O’Donnell , who has been living in the US since the 1990s, suffered a 15cm gash from his temple to his jaw after he tackled Akram Joudeh at around 5pm on Wednesday.
Joudeh, 32, who has numerous previous arrests, was shot in the region of 18 times by police officers after flying into a rage when he tried to remove a clamp from his car which had been illegally parked near Penn Station in Manhattan.
When officers tried to intervene, Joudeh pulled a cleaver from his waistband and began swinging it. He then ran off in the direction of Seventh Avenue.
“I saw a mob of people running for their lives, screaming coming from the street and I let in as many as I could and locked the door and tried to keep as many people as safe as possible,” a mall security guard told the New York Post.
Joudeh was pursued by officers and tasered but it had no effect. Near Seventh Avenue, he jumped onto an NYPD car.
At this point Mr O’Donnell , who was off duty, attempted to tackle Joudeh but was struck in the face.
He was taken to Bellevue Hospital, where he underwent surgery. He was released yesterday.
Incoming NYPD commissioner Jim O’Neill said officers shot the attacker until the threat was neutralised. He is in a critical but stable condition in hospital.
“As we are pursuing him and we have video of the incident, he has the cleaver in his hands and you can clearly see it and he’s waving it around,” said Mr O’Neill.
“Keep in mind he had just attacked an off-duty officer who’s got a six-inch gash on his face. He’s got an 11-inch cleaver. They shot until the threat was stopped.”
© Irish Examiner Ltd. All rights reserved