Photo Courtesy of NYPD
Healey was promoted to detective on Friday at 1 Police Plaza.
By Michael V. Cusenza
Kenneth Healey, the hero City cop who survived a harrowing head injury suffered during a terrorist attack in Jamaica three years ago, was promoted to detective on Friday at Police headquarters.
“Honored to mark the great work brave #NYPD cops do every day,” Police Commissioner Jim O’Neill wrote on Twitter after the ceremony.
On Oct. 23, 2014, Healey and three fellow uniformed police officers – Joseph Meeker, Taylor Kraft, and Peter Rivera – were on a foot post on Jamaica Avenue near 162nd Street around 2 p.m. when they were approached by a freelance photographer who asked them to pose for a picture. As the officers obliged, a man identified as Zale Thompson, 32, charged at them with a hatchet in his hand. Unprovoked and not speaking a word, Thompson then swung the hatchet at Meeker, striking his right arm. Thompson, who later was characterized by then-Commissioner Bill Bratton as a “self-radicalized” Muslim, continued swinging the hatchet, striking Healey in his head, causing him to fall to the ground.
As Thompson continued his assault, Bratton said, Kraft and Rivera opened fire, killing him. Healey’s brothers in blue lifted him into a police vehicle and rushed him to nearby Jamaica Hospital Medical Center, where he “received life-saving treatment from the Trauma Team” and remained in critical condition for days.
Healey survived his wounds and made it all the way back to the job last December. On NYPD Medal Day last June, he received the Medal of Honor, and his former 103rd Precinct colleagues Meeker, Kraft, and Rivera earned the Combat Cross.