2010-09-03 / Top Stories

Cop-Stabber Trial Adjourned

By Nicholas Briano

Sergeant Timothy Smith walks out of Bellevue Hospital under his own power after losing an eye due to an attack in January 2009. Sergeant Timothy Smith walks out of Bellevue Hospital under his own power after losing an eye due to an attack in January 2009. A man who allegedly stabbed a police sergeant in January 2009 was supposed to stand trial last week in Queens Criminal Court, but instead the trial was adjourned until October, a spokesperson for Queens District Attorney Richard Brown said.

The trial of Neal Perreira, 32, will now commence on October 29. He is charged with stabbing Police Sergeant Timothy Smith in the eye and chest when 101 Precinct police responded to a call for an emotionally disturbed man at 24-50 Collier Avenue.

According to court papers, when the officers arrived, Perreira fled to a bedroom at the back of the house. Sergeant Timothy Smith knocked at the bedroom door and Perreira allegedly opened the door with the knife in his hand and stabbed Smith in the eye.

Police sources say that Perreira was the subject of at least ten calls over the past eight years. He was arrested seven times, often setting fires. Once, police say, he turned on the gas and threatened to blow up everybody in the house.

Sergeant Smith was transferred to Bellevue Hospital in Manhattan, where he was hospitalized for months as surgeons worked to clear his brain of blood. He is now blind in the eye in which he was stabbed. Smith began a long road to recovery over the next few weeks, having lost his ability to speak and walk. He underwent several surgeries, including draining blood from his brain, and the removal of his eye.

A spokesperson for Queens District Attorney Richard Brown said that Perreira is charged with attempted aggravated murder, first degree attempted murder, three counts of assaulting a police officer and criminal possession of a weapon. If convicted of all charges, he faces 25 years in prison.

Perreira was taken to St. John’s Episcopal Hospital for psychiatric evaluation, where it was determined he was competent to stand trial.

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