A New York City police officer is expected to survive after pulling a knife out of his own head, Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced in a press conference on Tuesday.
Doctors say officer Eder Loor, who is in critical condition after he was stabbed with a three-inch switch blade, is expected to "make a complete recovery" and is lucky to be alive.
“I was telling his wife that he is probably the luckiest unlucky man you could ever have,” the doctor, Joshua B. Bederson, head of neuro-surgery at Mount Sinai Hospital, said.
Officer Loor’s wife, Dina Loor, said her husband told her that he had removed the knife from his left temple himself.
“I think he pulled his own knife out,” she said while sitting next to Dr. Bederson. “Since he’s an E.M.T., he somehow managed to hold the pressure. And somebody on the street, I believe, handed him a towel.”
Dr. Bederson used a model of a head showing how the three-inch blade of the knife sliced through the officer's temple, into the temporal lobe while just nicking a major vein, according to the New York Times. The knife did not penetrate a major artery, but it did pass a half an inch from structures that control vision while touching the nerve that gives sensation to the face.
“It couldn’t have been closer,” Dr. Bederson said.
Officer Loor had complained of "some numbness," the doctor said before surgery. But after the four-hour procedure, Loor awoke moving all four extremities, speaking seeing, and moving his eyes normally.
“His young age and incredible physical condition are probably going to speed a rapid recovery,” the doctor said. “I’m hoping and expecting him to make a complete recovery.”
Loor was stabbed while answering a call about an emotionally disturbed person Tuesday in East Harlem, when the disturbed person allegedly stabbed Loor.
The knife penetrated his skull, causing bleeding on the brain that required emergency surgery, authorities said.
Loor and his partner, Luckson Merisme, were responding to the call, when they met the 911 caller, the mother of the stabbing suspect, Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly said.
She told them her son, Terrence Hale, was in the apartment upstairs, and needed to go to the hospital. They found Hall and told him they were taking him to a hospital but he brandished a knife and stabbed Loor, Kelly said. Then he took off.
Loor's partner raced after the attacker, calling for backup, and Hale was apprehended about a block away, Kelly said.
Hale, who was brought to Metropolitan Hospital for a psychiatric evaluation, was arrested on charges of attempted aggravated murder, assault and criminal possession of a weapon. It wasn't clear if he had an attorney.
Bloomberg said he and Kelly made a visit at Mount Sinai Hospital, where Loor and his partner were taken.
The mayor said he spoke to Merisme, who was treated for high blood pressure, "to get him to calm down."
"Unfortunately, even when you do the right thing, policing, as we all know, is a very dangerous job," Bloomberg said.
Loor, 28, has been a member of the force since 2006 and is also a member of the Air Force National Guard. He's the father of a young girl, and he and his wife are expecting a son.
"This serious attack," along with FDNY Lt. Richard Nappi's death Monday at a Brooklyn fire, serves as a reminder that "New York's bravest and New York's finest risk their lives every day to protect the rest of us," Bloomberg said.
Hale was previously arrested in 2002 for robbery, and in 2006 for an assault in which he stabbed the victim with a knife, police said. He was also arrested in New Jersey and Pennsylvania.
"Today is another reminder of how, in a split second, a police officer's life may be jeopardized," Kelly said.
It wasn't clear if he had an attorney.
Based on reporting by the Associated Press.