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103rd Pct. officer attacked with hatchet heads back to work

By Sadef Ali Kully

Police Officer Kenneth Healey, who suffered a skull fracture after he was attacked by a hatchet-wielding man, returned to work this week after a full year of undergoing rehabilitation.

Healey, 25, recovered from two skull reconstruction surgeries and continues to recuperate after the October 2014 attack. He began desk duty this week.

In October 2014, as rookie police officers at the 103rd Precinct, Healey, along with Taylor Kraft, Joseph Meeker and Peter Rivera, fought off and fatally shot a crazed “self-radicalized” man, authorities said. The officers were attacked by Zale Thompson, 32, from Queens Village, who caught them offguard and assaulted them with a sharp, 18-inch, hand ax in downtown Jamaica, police said.

Healey was struck with the hatchet on the side of his head and Meeker had his right arm sliced by the weapon before officers on the scene shot Thompson 19 times, killing him, according to authorities.

Deputy Inspector John Cappelmann, commanding officer of the 103rd Precinct, said at a community meeting in October Healey looked forward to making a full recovery and coming back to work full time.

In an email, the 103rd Precinct Community Affairs Detective Marc Costa said, “On behalf of Inspector Cappelmann, we are honored to announce that Police Officer Healey has returned to work. He has however, moved on to another command. We wish him well in his career.”

Healey has joined the NYPD’s Technical Assistance and Response Unit, according to the NYPD.

All four officers were honored at the annual Top Cops Awards by the National Association of Police Organizations during a ceremony with Vice President Joe Biden in Washington, D.C. in May.

The National Association of Police Organizations is an independent awards selection committee comprised of national law enforcement representatives chosen from hundreds of nominations and one Top Cop case from each of the 50 states and U.S. territories.

Healey, who is from Long Island, comes from a long line of police officers in his family.

Reach Reporter Sadef Ali Kully by e-mail at skully@cnglocal.com or by phone at (718) 260–4546.

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