It was total chaos for commuters heading home in New York Thursday night as a man armed with a meat cleaver ran amok on the streets, attacked a police officer and ultimately got shot.
Akram Joudeh, 32, was blocks away from busy Penn Station, one of the nation’s busiest and largest train stations, when he tried to pry off a boot from the wheel of his illegally parked car.
Police say he lives in the vehicle and everything he owns was apparently in the car.
When cops confronted Joudeh, he pulled a terrifying, 11-inch meat cleaver from his waistband and ran off.
As police chased the suspect through rush-hour crowds right by Penn Station, an off-duty NYPD detective saw what was happening and tackled him. Cops say the suspect slashed the officer in the head with the cleaver, leaving a 6-inch gash from his temple to his jaw line.
Cops then shot him with a Taser. When it had no effect, they opened fire. Joudeh was hit with 18 rounds, but survived. He is in serious condition at Bellevue Hospital in Midtown Manhattan.
The wounded cop, Detective Brian O’Donnell, was listed in critical condition at the same hospital but on Friday, he emerged in a wheelchair.
Fellow officers lined the hallway and applauded as the 16-year NYPD veteran was wheeled out. The large cut was visible on the side of his face.
Cops say Joudeh has a long rap sheet. He once served 60 days in jail in 2013 for fourth-degree criminal mischief. In 2010, he pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor petit larceny and was sentenced to 90 days.