By Trevor Kapp, Tuan Nguyen and Patrick Hedlund
MANHATTAN — The police officer stabbed in the head by a mentally unstable man in East Harlem Tuesday is in "good spirits" a day after the harrowing attack and is expected to make a full recovery, authorities said.
Officer Eder Loor, 28, survived a knife being driven into his skull by suspect Terrence Hale, 26, who is currently at Bellevue Hospital undergoing a psychiatric evaluation prior to his arraignment on attempted murder charges, police said.
Loor, who has experience as an EMT, even managed to pull the blade from his head and put pressure on the wound after the alleged attack, his wife said.
Loor’s family was at Mt. Sinai Hospital Wednesday visiting the officer, who responded to a call of a man “acting in an erratic manner” at the Franklin Plaza housing complex on Third Avenue and East 107th Street about 11 a.m. Tuesday, Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly said.
When Loor and his partner tried to tell Hale that they would take him to the hospital, he allegedly snapped and stabbed the officer in the left temple with a 3 1/2-inch knife, police said.
Hale, 26, of East Harlem, is charged with attempted aggravated murder, assault and criminal possession of a weapon in the attack, police said.
Loor's sister and pregnant wife, as well as the doctor who performed emergency surgery on the officer, spoke during an emotional press conference at Mt. Sinai Hospital Wednesday.
"Thank God that it was not his day yesterday and we're going to have him," said Loor's sister Roxanna Carcamo.
His wife, Dina Loor, said the officer is still in a daze but managed to speak to her at the hospital.
"The only thing he wanted was a kiss, and he said he loved me," she said, at times fighting back tears.
Dr. Joshua B. Bederson, professor and chairman of Mt. Sinai's department of neurosurgery, said the blade missed the part of Loor's brain that controls motor skills and other vital functions by a mere half-inch.
"It couldn’t have been closer," he said of the injury, noting it could take up to three months for him to be in a position to return to work.
"If you want to call it a miracle, you're justified in calling it a miracle. It was awfully close."
Dina Loor described her husband, who served in the Air Force, as an energetic man who wanted to join the police force immediately after returning from service.
"This is his passion," she said. "This is what he's lived for. He's a go-getter. He doesn't quit."
Bederson added, "My guess is in a month he’ll be bugging me about getting back to work."
Kelly said Wednesday at an unrelated event that he spoke with Loor at the hospital, describing the officer as being in a lot of pain but in "remarkably good" spirits.
"We had another miracle, because we had the blade go about two inches beneath, and he was able to be conscious," Kelly said. "All his limbs are moving. They are all great signs."
Kelly explained that officers have no way of knowing when they are confronting disturbed individuals.
"This is the problem police officers face on the daily basis," he said, noting that there is "simply not enough information for officers" regarding people taking medications.
"We handle close to 100,000 emotionally disturbed person calls a year and it puts officers at great risk," he said.
Hale was emotionally unstable when his mother, Vearry Hale, called 911. But the distraught mom said her son needed paramedics, not cops, to get her out-of-control son back in line.
"Why didn't emergency come to my house?" asked Vearry Hale from her East Harlem apartment Wednesday. "The police is wrong. We requested an ambulance."
Vearry Hale added that the response to her son's meltdown was late — and she questioned the NYPD's story about the stabbing.
"They waited 30 or 40 minutes to arrive," she said.
"They are trying to cover it up," she added, referring to the NYPD. "The police started provoking my son."
Terrence Hale was awaiting arraignment Wednesday.
Kelly, meanwhile, said the alleged attack "underscored the danger that police face on daily basis" in responding to 911 calls.
"It's very difficult problem," he said. "I don't think it lend itself to any easy solution, but certainly I hope to see something done."
Ben Fractenberg and Wil Cruz contributed to this article.