NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – A New York City police officer remained in critical but stable condition late Tuesday night after being stabbed in the head earlier in the day on the street in East Harlem.
Family and colleagues held a vigil Tuesday night for Officer Eder Loor, who is said to be conscious and talking hours after the horrific incident.
“I did speak to him. He’s alert. The doctor told me that the knife went in a minimum of an inch and a half perhaps as much as two inches into his head,” Police Commissioner Ray Kelly told CBS 2′s Hazel Sanchez on Tuesday night.
1010 WINS’ Carol D’Auria reports
Earlier Tuesday, Kelly showed reporters the bloody knife he said was used to stab Officer Loor. Kelly said Loor was “stabbed in his left temple with a knife that penetrated his skull.”
The 28-year-old cop came out of surgery at Mt. Sinai Hospital at around 4:30 p.m. on Tuesday.
“Today is another reminder that in a split second, a police officer’s life can be placed in great jeopardy,” Kelly said at a news conference.
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Loor was one of the responding officers who was called to 107th Street and Third Avenue in East Harlem at around 10:30 a.m. to deal with an emotionally disturbed man, who authorities later identified as 26-year-old Terrence Hale.
Authorities said Hale’s mother called police because he was acting irrationally. Kelly said Hale has a history of mental problems and an arrest record. He was taken into custody a few blocks from the scene and was taken to the hospital for a psychiatric evaluation. He was later charged with attempted aggravated murder, assault and criminal possession of a weapon, police said.
Loor and his partner stopped the man to ask him some questions when the man suddenly pulled a knife and stabbed Loor in his left temple, officials said. Hale was previously arrested in 2002 for robbery and in 2006 for assault, with both arrests coming in the confines of the 23rd Precinct.
Connie Lopez said she was inside her hardware store when she heard the commotion in front.
“I heard screaming and I thought maybe it was a fight or probably somebody stealing. So when I went out, the police officer had already gotten stabbed,” Lopez told CBS 2′s Pablo Guzman.
“It goes to show the amount of violence that New York City police officers face every single day and the police officers that get stabbed or shot. It’s a dangerous job and it’s never a routine job,” said PBA President Pat Lynch.
Mayor Michael Bloomberg said Loor is assigned to the 23rd Precinct. He is married with a 4-year-old daughter and a son on the way.
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