DFA: No Filipinos injured in Times Square crash

Remigio Civitarese
Мая 20, 2017

A Planet Hollywood bouncer and a traffic agent jumped into action Thursday after a auto plowed into pedestrians near Times Square, tackling the driver and holding him until police could respond, according to multiple reports.

NY officials immediately allay fears of terrorism by releasing information that the driver of the Honda Accord, identified as Richard Rojas, a 26-year old Navy veteran has a history of arrests for drunken driving. Eighteen-year-old Alyssa Elsman, of Portage, Michigan, was killed in the crash. Her sister, 13, was also injured but authorities said she was expected to recover. After his arrest, he told police he was "hearing voices" and expected to die, two law enforcement officials said.

The suspect, Richard Rojas, 26, is said to have performed a u-turn and driven at speed against the flow of traffic toward one of the world's most popular tourist spots.

Of the injured, four were critical and three deemed very serious but were all likely to survive, authorities said.

NY mayor Bill de Blasio said the suspect is a former US Navy serviceman and a US citizen and there is no indication it is connected to terrorism.

Bradix added that Rojas "was screaming-no particular words-but he was screaming and flailing his arms in all kinds of directions".

Twenty-three people were struck by the vehicle before it was stopped by a security barrier.

He is due to reappear in court next week.

Rojas has several prior criminal cases that paint a picture of a troubled man. According to U.S. prosecutors, Rojas had "had glassy eyes, slurred speech, and was unsteady", during his arrest.

The Navy vet was arrested just last week and charged with pointing a knife at a notary, whom he accused of stealing his identity. It was unclear when Rojas, who was in custody, would get a lawyer or be arraigned. He was most recently based at the Naval Air Station in Jacksonville, Florida, and was discharged in 2014. The Bronx native enlisted to the US Navy in 2011 and spent two months at a naval prison in SC in 2013.

Rojas enlisted in the service in July 2011 and spent six months on the destroyer USS Carney in 2012 while the ship conducted pirate interdiction operations off the Horn of Africa, naval records show.

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