Jueves, 21 Marcha, 2019

Prosecutors: Times Square driver wanted to 'kill them all'

1 Dead, At Least 13 Injured In Times Square Car Crash (Photos) Car Plows Into Pedestrians in Times Square, Killing One and Injuring 23
Eleena Tovar | 20 May, 2017, 11:54

A man charged with murdering a teenager and injuring 20 others after crashing a vehicle into crowds on Times Square said he wanted to "kill them all", prosecutors have claimed.

Richard Rojas approached the busy intersection of West 42nd Street and 7th Ave.in New York City's Times Square a few minutes before noon Thursday and paused his maroon Honda Accord to allow cars to drive past before making a near complete U-turn onto the sidewalk, where he began to accelerate, according to police.

A wrong-way driver plowed into pedestrians in the heart of Manhattan's bustling Times Square district minutes before noon on Thursday, killing at least one person and injuring almost two dozen others, city officials said.

Police said the young woman killed on the sidewalk was Alyssa Elsman, 18, who was on vacation with her family from MI. He is due in court in Manhattan later on Friday to face charges of murder, attempted murder and vehicular homicide. Alyssa Elsman, an 18-year-old tourist from MI, was killed in the mayhem.

The Bronx native enlisted to the US Navy in 2011 and spent two months at a naval prison in SC in 2013. In 2012, he served aboard the USS Carney, a destroyer homeported in Mayport.

Navy records show he spent two months in a military prison in Charleston, South Carolina, in the summer of 2013, but did not say why.

Rojas, said to have been discharged from the US Navy following disciplinary problems, appeared in court on Friday. Rojas careened up the sidewalk, straight into unsuspecting foot traffic, northbound for three and a half blocks before a steel barrier brought his murderous rampage to a screeching halt at Seventh and Broadway.

"We all feel deeply right now for those who are injured and for their families and [in] particular the family of the young woman who was lost", Mayor Bill de Blasio said Thursday.

He emerged from the smoking sedan, tilted on its side, in a Times Square packed with panicked people.

Law enforcement sources say Elsman's father was so angry he went into the midtown precinct where Rojas was being held and told officers he wanted to kill him. They don't indicate why.

Law enforcement officials say a man accused of steering his auto onto one of the busiest sidewalks in the USA and mowing down pedestrians for three blocks told police he was "hearing voices".

Despite the influence of drugs, it also appears Rojas acted deliberately.

A smashed auto sits on the corner of Broadway and 45th Street in New York's Times Square after driving through a crowd of pedestrians Thursday, May 18, 2017.

"You're trying to steal my identity", he said, according to prosecutors. The driver of the vehicle has been identified as Bronx native Richard Rojas, 26, a U.S. Navy veteran. The sister remains in a critical condition and a Canadian citizen was seriously injured, officials said.