A city police officer underwent urgent surgery Tuesday after he was stabbed in the head while attempting to escort an alleged emotionally disturbed man to the hospital in East Harlem, and the alleged attacker was charged with attempted murder.
Terrence Hale, 26, faces charges of attempted aggravated murder, assault and criminal possession of a weapon after he allegedly stabbed Police Officer Eder Loor, 28, in the left temple and pierced the officer's brain.
By late Tuesday, Officer Loor was out of surgery at Mount Sinai Hospital and was heavily sedated.
The attack happened around 10:30 a.m near the corner of 107th Street and Third Avenue.
Police Commissioner Ray Kelly said Officer Loor, who is assigned to the 23rd Precinct, was responding to a 911 call made by Hale's mother over concerns he needed to be taken to the hospital.
Kelly said when Loor and his partner went to meet Hale's mother inside their home at the Franklin Plaza Houses complex, Hale emerged from the elevator in the lobby.
While the officers were walking alongside Hale on the sidewalk, authorities say Hale turned suddenly and stabbed Loor in the head, piercing the skull and hitting his brain.
Kelly said Loor, a six-year veteran of the force, was conscious and alert when he arrived at Mount Sinai Hospital, and then underwent surgery for several hours to relieve bleeding on his brain.
Police say Hale took off on foot but was taken into custody a few blocks north.
A three-inch knife believed to have been used by Hale was also recovered.
"He's standing over there, looking over here, waiting for them. He just stood there and all the police went, then they put him down, handcuffed him and they took him," said Connie Lopez, a resident who heard the attack.
Kelly said Hale is known as an emotionally disturbed person with long psychiatric and criminal records.
"[Hale has] been arrested previously in 2002 for robbery and in 2006 for assault in which he stabbed the victim with a knife. Both arrests were in the 23rd precinct," said Kelly. "He was arrested twice in New Jersey, once for assault and the other for a riot.”
Mayor Michael Bloomberg also visited Loor in the hospital and praised all of the officers for their precise police work.
“This was a textbook example of what they should do. Unfortunately, even when you do the right thing, policing as we all know is a very dangerous job,” the mayor said.
Loor's wife is pregnant with their second child, a son, due in July.
"She's scared and nervous but she's standing up very well, a strong person like police officers' families," said police union president Patrick Lynch.
Hale was taken to the Metropolitan Hospital for a psychiatric evaluation before he was charged.