Irish Detective Survives Meat Cleaver Attack

Brian O'Donnell coming out of the hospital with his family.

By Olivia O’Mahony, Editorial Assistant
October / November 2016

Irish immigrant Detective Brian O’Donnell was severely injured when he intercepted a dispute between his NYPD colleagues and an armed attacker in September. O’Donnell, who left Dublin for New York in 1993, was off-duty and traveling to Penn Station to meet his wife and children when he was slashed with an 11-inch meat cleaver by Akram Joudeh.

The 43-year-old was admitted to Bellevue Hospital after the attack, which saw a six-inch wound stretch from his forehead to jaw. Joudeh, who had been initially confronted for attempting to remove a boot from his car, was shot by O’Donnell’s fellow officers and also taken into medical care. Upon discharge, O’Donnell was greeted with a guard of honor and applauding crowd.

“I was just doing my job,” O’Donnell asserted to the Irish Mirror. “I saw what was happening and I had to help my fellow officers and protect the public. This is what I am paid to do.”

Many tributes were paid to O’Donnell following the incident, one of which came from Deputy Inspector Clint A. McPherson, commanding officer of the detective’s own 19th Precinct. McPherson shared a picture of the precinct members standing before the Irish and American flags, saying, “New York Police Department 19th Detective Squad and Precinct send lots of love and get well wishes to our friend and hero, Det. Brian O’Donnell.”

“He loves his job, even though it can be very dangerous, as shown by this,” O’Donnell’s brother, John, told the Daily Mail. “He is a great guy and will do his best to get back to work as soon as possible.” ♦

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