70 Stitches for a Good Cop

One of New York’s bravest has survived a bizarre slashing, but troubling questions remain about an attacker with a long history of other attacks — someone the U.S. has been trying to deport.

The maniac with a meat cleaver — who in the past has allegedly shouted “Allahu Akbar,” the cry of many ISIS terror supporters and followers — slashed a brave off-duty NYPD detective Thursday night outside Penn Station in New York City. The cop survived and on Friday, with his family by his side, was wheeled out of Bellevue Hospital to a hero’s salute from more than 100 of his fellow officers.

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“Detective Brian O’Donnell wore his new badge of honor with stoic grace: a massive scar stretching forehead-to-chin down the left side of his face,” the New York Post reported.

O’Donnell, who is 43, will be re-evaluated in about a week at the hospital for nerve repair treatment, a source told the Post.

“He will probably be scarred for life,” the source said.

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The U.S. had been trying to deport the attacker, a man named Akram Joudeh, 32. He’s a Palestinian with a Jordanian passport. The man apparently lived out of his car and had 15 prior arrests, at least three of which have involved knives.

His latest arrest, on July 27, came after he apparently parked outside a Brooklyn synagogue and had two knives stashed behind the passenger seat.

Although he reportedly shouted “Allahu Akbar,” Brooklyn prosecutors did not prosecute him, despite his previous history. “The NYPD went back to the DA [district attorney] and said, ‘You guys are out of your mind,'” a source told the Post.

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The incident on Thursday night occurred when O’Donnell crossed paths with Joudeh, who had been trying to use a lug wrench to pry off a bot from the front tire of his car at West 30th Street and Broadway, not far from Penn Station. When cops in the area tried to stop Joudeh, he allegedly started swinging a meat cleaver at them and took off down the street. Cops chased him as the man slashed away.

After repeated demands to drop his weapon and stop his destructive activity, the police fired their weapons and wounded him.

meet the author

Maureen Mackey served as editor-in-chief and managing editor of LifeZette for nearly five years. Before that, she held senior editorial positions at major publications, helping The Fiscal Times win a MIN Award for Best New Site as managing editor and Reader's Digest win an American Society of Magazine Editors Award for General Excellence as book editor. Her work has appeared in Real Clear Politics, CNBC, A Fine Line, AARP Magazine, Yahoo Finance, MSN, Business Insider, and The Week, among other outlets. She is a member of the Newswomen's Club of New York and the American Legion Auxiliary.

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