What we know about the man behind crash in Times Square

Remigio Civitarese
Mag 19, 2017

Richard Rojas is escorted from the 7th precinct by New York City Police officers after being processed in connection with the speeding vehicle that struck pedestrians on a sidewalk in Times Square in New York City, on Thu., May 18, 2017.

The driver of the 2009 Honda Accord - Richard Rojas, 26, of the Bronx - tested positive for PCP and told police that God made him do it, a law enforcement source told CNN. Rojas had been arrested at least twice previously for driving while intoxicated, once in 2008 and once in 2015, police said.

Mayor Bill de Blasio told a news conference here that based on the information they had, "there is no indication that this was an act of terrorism".

The carnage raised immediate fears of terrorism, fueled by recent attacks in England, France and Germany in which vehicles plowed through crowds of pedestrians.

"People were being hit and rolling off the vehicle", said Josh Duboff, who works at the nearby Thomson Reuters headquarters. He also told the officer that he had beaten a cab driver to whom he owed money and had been drinking at the time of the arrest, according to the report. Shoes were scattered on the sidewalk.

The bustling streets are heavily patrolled by police, some on horseback. There are many areas where vehicles could be driven onto packed sidewalks or public plazas. Security camera footage showed the auto slam into pedestrians who moments earlier were ambling along, some carrying shopping bags and others pushing baby strollers.

Richard Rojas, who allegedly drove a speeding auto through a crowd in Times Square Thursday, has been charged with 1 count of murder, 20 counts of attempted murder and five counts of aggravated vehicular homicide, CNN reports.

After the incident, authorities cordoned off an area for several hours, effectively shutting down one of the busiest parts of one of the busiest cities in the world.

A auto rests on a security barrier in New York's Times Square after driving through a crowd of pedestrians, injuring at least a dozen people, Thursday, May 18, 2017. He said he looked out and saw what appeared to be a body in the street. "There were people on the ground all the way down the block to our left and all the way down the block to our right". She and her daughter were shopping when the vehicle sped toward them.

"I'm so freaked out!" Howard's daughter said. "They mowed everyone down".

The crash killed an 18-year-old woman and the injured included her 13-year-old sister, police said.

Rojas returned from his Navy service with a drinking problem and had posted "crazy stuff" on social media, said a friend, Harrison Ramos, speaking to Reuters outside the apartment building where Rojas lives in New York City's Bronx borough. He pleaded guilty to a harassment violation.

Six months ago the city completed a $55 million, almost 6-year renovation of Times Square that turned roadways into pedestrian zones. The auto leaned on a lamppost and steel barriers meant to block vehicles from getting onto the sidewalk.

The deceased teenager, named in media reports as 18-year-old MI tourist Alyssa Elsman, was walking with her 13-year-old sister, who was injured. Islamic State claimed responsibility.

Altre relazioniGrafFiotech

Discuti questo articolo

Segui i nostri GIORNALE