NYPD: Times Square motorist accelerated as he hit pedestrians

NEW YORK — Richard Rojas approached the bustling intersection of West 42nd Street and 7th Ave. in New York City’s Times Square a few mins before noon Thursday and paused his maroon Honda Accord to concede cars to drive past before making a nearby finish U-turn onto the sidewalk, where he began to accelerate, according to police.

Deputy Chief William Aubry, the commander of Manhattan detectives, held a press discussion Friday with new sum on the deadly occurrence that left a teenage girl upheld and widespread fear by one of the many nation’s many swarming and renouned traveller destinations.

After his U-turn, police pronounced Rojas continued to accelerate as he sped down the path for 3 full blocks, distinguished 21 pedestrians, one of whom died from her injuries.


A wrecked automobile sits in the intersection of 45th and Broadway in Times Square, on Thu., May 18, 2017 in New York City.

“He waited for those cars to pass, and then he accelerated, distinguished those pedestrians, that goes to his state of mind,” Aubry said.


Alyssa Elsman, 18, died after a man plowed by pedestrians with his automobile in New York’s Times Square on May 18, 2017.

Alyssa Elsman, an 18-year-old visiting from Michigan, was killed. Her 13-year-old sister suffered a collapsed lung and broken pelvis, Aubry said.

In total, 19 of those harmed were treated at hospitals. Three sojourn in vicious condition and “one is very critical,” Aubry said.

Rojas, a U.S. citizen, has had before run-ins with police, including inebriated pushing incidents. On May 14, he was arrested for menacing.

Police sources told CBS New York that Rojas done wayward statements after being arrested. They also described him as emotionally disturbed. Rojas upheld a breathalyzer test, but an initial test came up certain for PCP and marijuana. A source tells CBS News the think claimed to have listened voices, wanted to die, and did it for god.

Aubry pronounced police are available a full toxicology report.

Rojas, a 26-year-old from the Bronx, is confronting mixed charges, including murder, attempted murder and aggravated vehicular homicide.


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

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