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brian o'donnell

Police officer from Dublin attacked with a meat cleaver in New York

The Irish detective, who moved over from Raheny in northeast Dublin, busted “Sopranos” star Robert Iler for carrying a pot pipe in 2002, and arrested Christian Slater in 2005 for sexual harassment.

NEW YORK POLICE opened fire 18 times in downtown Manhattan yesterday, before subduing a suspect armed with a meat cleaver who seriously wounded an off-duty Irish detective, police said.

Acts of violence are rare in broad daylight in Manhattan, which has seen record-low crime rates after decades of tough policing.

The police gave chase shortly after 5pm New York time (10pm last night Irish time) in response to alleged criminal mischief, police said, refusing to rule out terrorism as a possibility.

The victim was named by local media in New York as Brian O’Donnell, an off-duty NYPD detective from Raheny in Dublin.

The 39-year-old moved across the Atlantic in 1993, and has since become been well known for arresting Christian Slater in 2005 after the actor allegedly groped a woman in a New York supermarket.

“At this point, the initial radio run was (for) criminal mischief,” said department chief James O’Neill, who is poised to take over as New York police chief.

As part of our investigation, nothing is off the table.

Akram Joudeh, 32, tried to remove a car clamp from a car not far from Penn Station, then fled from officers on foot after pulling an 11-inch (28-centimeter) meat cleaver from his waistband, police said.

Cleaver The meat cleaver involved in the attack. © DCPI - NYPD © DCPI - NYPD


An initial attempt to taser him failed. When he mounted the front grille of a marked police car, a detective in civilian clothes attempted to subdue him.

The off-duty officer sustained a six-inch gash from his temple to his jaw, at which point police opened fire 18 times.

Critical but stable condition

The suspect is in critical but stable condition in the hospital, the detective is in serious condition and two more officers sustained non-life-threatening injuries, O’Neill said.

Asked by reporters whether it was necessary to fire 18 shots in a busy area, O’Neill replied: “Keep in mind that he had just attacked an off-duty officer who has a six-inch gash on his face and he has a 11-inch cleaver.”

In a statement to, the New York Police Department said: “An off-duty detective in civilian clothes attempted to subdue the suspect. The detective was struck in the head by the cleaver causing an approximate six-inch gash.

Uniformed members then fired at the suspect, striking him several times. The detective and the suspect were transported to Bellevue Hospital.

“The detective is currently listed in serious condition. The suspect is in critical condition.

Two additional officers sustained non-life threatening injuries during the encounter. It has not been determined how these injuries were sustained at this time.  

“The suspect is identified as Akram Joudeh who is a 32 year-old male with a last known address in Queens but is now living in his car.”

Joudeh Akram Joudeh was trying to remove a clamp from his car when officers confronted him. Twitter Twitter

With reporting from AFP.

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