Trevor Bickford: Times Square 'terrorist' was typical Maine boy who played football and won award for art

Trevor Bickford: Times Square 'terrorist' was typical Maine boy who played football and won award for art
It has been reported that Trevor Bickford's life spiraled out of control after his father died in 2018 from a drug overdose (Trevor Bickford and Audra D'Antilio Simpson/Facebook)

Warning: This article contains recollection of crime that may trigger some readers. Discretion is advised.

MANHATTAN, NEW YORK CITY: Before he allegedly converted to Islam and used a machete to slash two police officers in Times Square, Trevor Bickford seemed to be an ordinary all-American teenager. The suspected Islamic extremist, 19, once made the honor roll at his school, received recognition for his artwork, and played football for the winning team in his hometown of Wells, Maine.

Bickford was reportedly already on the FBI's radar when he traveled alone on the Amtrak to New York City for the suspected attacks. He was on the Bureau's terrorism “Guardian Watchlist” and had told his aunt he was planning to travel to Afghanistan to fight, sources told The New York Post. Bickford is accused of attacking two NYPD officers on December 31 on Eighth Avenue between 51st and 52nd Street, just outside Times Square where tens of thousands of people were ushering in the new year celebrations. It has been reported that Bickford's life spiraled out of control after his father died in 2018 from a drug overdose. Bickford was shot by a different cop, who hit him in the shoulder. The charges against Bickford are pending as he is still being treated at the Bellevue hospital. 

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Trevor Bickford (bottom right) was raised by his parents in Wells, Maine (Thomas Bickford/FacebooK0
Trevor Bickford (bottom right) was raised by his parents in Wells, Maine (Thomas Bickford/Facebook)

According to a preliminary investigation, Bickford has no criminal history. Police sources claimed that the Boston Bureau is still looking into him. Authorities have informed that they are investigating whether the young man flew to New York City to attack police after posting what they described as terrorist writings online. He was among a group of pupils who received honors for their works of art in 2020. According to an article from Seacoastonline at the time, Bickford won an award for his work in jewelry. He was raised by his parents Thomas and Audra D'Antilio along with his two brothers, Travis and Devin. Bickford is allegedly responsible for the attacks on the NYPD policemen. Bickford and the two officers are all expected to make it out alive as they recover at Manhattan's Bellevue hospital. 

The incident occurred in a small part of the high-security area where tens of thousands of revelers were being inspected for weapons in preparation for New Year's Eve celebrations. Michael Driscoll, FBI's New York field office assistant director, stated that investigators think the assailant acted alone.  When Bickford traveled to Manhattan to see the strikes, he packed camping equipment, a journal, and his last will. The stabbing happened just beyond the perimeter of the security area in Times Square where a large crowd had gathered to watch the traditional ball drop on New Year's Eve. The police searched partygoers for illegal items like booze, big bags, and firearms.

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