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Police seek man in trooper knife attack

Monday, March 4, 2013
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Police on Sunday investigate the scene at the Empire State Plaza concourse where a New York State trooper was stabbed in the neck.
Photographer: Patrick Dodson
Police on Sunday investigate the scene at the Empire State Plaza concourse where a New York State trooper was stabbed in the neck.

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

Eric L. Green, 18, 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, as well as New York City. Meanwhile, Smith was doing better Monday, but was still hospitalized, state police spokesman Trooper Mark J. Cepiel said.

“He’s in stable condition and continues to improve,” Cepiel said.

Smith was stabbed at about 3:15 p.m. Sunday while on his usual foot patrol as part of the state Capitol security detail. That’s when a young man approached him as Smith 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, police said. The knife missed Smith’s artery. He underwent surgery for his wounds, which were described as non-life-threatening.

Smith put up a struggle, suffering 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 looking in bushes. Extra Albany police officers were brought in to investigate the incident, looking at surveillance footage from the area with little immediate success.

Cepiel said surveillance video was used in the investigation. But he declined to elaborate.

Smith was able to help the investigation early on, which led to Green, Cepiel said.

Cepiel described Green as “no stranger to law enforcement.” He wouldn’t be more specific.

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

 
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