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Police: 18-year-old wanted in connection with attack on trooper

Monday, March 4, 2013
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Eric L. Green
Eric L. Green

— State police this afternoon identified a man wanted for questioning in Sunday’s attack on a state trooper at the Empire State Plaza.

The man is identified as 18-year-old Eric L. Green. Green is wanted for questioning in the Sunday stabbing of Trooper Rodney L. Smith.

Green’s current address was unknown, police said, but he does have ties to the Grand Street area in Albany.

Anyone who might have seen him or know of his whereabouts is asked to contact police at 518-474-5330 with any information.

At approximately 3:15 p.m. Sunday, Smith was on his usual foot patrol as part of the State Capitol security detail when a young man approached him as he walked along the concourse, saying he was new in town, state police said.

Smith asked for identification, but the individual responded by drawing a kitchen knife and stabbing Smith in the neck. The knife missed Smith’s artery. He underwent surgery and is expected to survive, authorities have said.

Smith put up a struggle, incurring more wounds to the neck, the face and a few places along his arms and hands before the assailant took the trooper’s radio and fled.

Using his cellphone, Smith called for help and was coherent enough to give a brief description of his attacker. Responders soon rushed him to Albany Medical Center.

State and Albany police launched a massive manhunt, searching under cars along Madison Avenue and literally beating the bushes. Extra Albany police officers were brought in to investigate the incident, looking at surveillance footage from the area with little immediate success.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo visited Smith in the hospital, spokesman Josh Vlasto said in a tweet, adding the trooper is expected to make a full recovery. Smith is a 15-year veteran of the State Police.

“Our troopers can find themselves in dangerous and sometimes life-threatening situations on any given day,” State Police Superintendent Joseph D’Amico said in a statement Sunday. “State Police are working with the Albany Police Department as well as other area law enforcement to identify the individual responsible for this senseless attack. In the meantime, our thoughts and prayers are with Trooper Smith’s family.”

 
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