DOWNTOWN — A lawyer for the man accused of stabbing a police officer in East Harlem said Thursday he may pursue an insanity defense for his client.
Terrance Hale, 26, is accused of stabbing NYPD Officer Eder Loor, 28, in the left temple with a 3-1/2-inch knife blade on April 17, after his mother made a 911 call saying her son was acting irrationally and needed to be hospitalized.
During Hale's arraignment Thursday in Manhattan Supreme Court, his attorney Edward McQuat said he was considering pursuing a defense claiming that Hale was too unstable to be held accountable for the alleged stabbing.
Prosecutors said in court that Hale was coherent enough during the incident to ask officers whether they were arresting him.
"Don't touch me. Am I under arrest?" Hale said to Loor and his partner, Luckson Merisme, according to court papers. "If I'm under arrest, read me my rights. If I'm not under arrest, don't touch me. Don't touch me, leave me alone. Get off me, don't touch me unless you are going to arrest me."
Once he was under arrest, the officers asked Hale, "Where's the knife?" according to the papers.
"I don't know," he replied.
Hale was then taken to Bellevue Hospital Center, where he later talked to two detectives about the alleged stabbing.
"You know what happened. I’m pretty sure you heard already," Hale said, according to the court filings. "Who are you, my lawyer? No, I’m not talking to you, you are the prosecutor. I want a lawyer."
Hale, who was ushered into court wearing an orange prison jumpsuit, was arraigned Thursday on charges of attempted murder, assaulting a police officer and criminal possession of a weapon.
"Every day, police officers risk their lives, putting the public’s safety ahead of their own," said Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance in a statement. "This case reminds us of the dangers that the brave men and women in law enforcement face every time they go to work."
Another officer at the scene saw Loor "holding his bleeding head with one hand and holding a knife with his other hand," according to court documents.
Loor was rushed to Mount Sinai Hospital, where he underwent emergency surgery.
"I’m not 100-percent normal, but I’m just happy that I’m alive," said Loor, who has made a miraculous recovery, during a May 2 press conference upon his release.