Man charged with murder after NY vehicle carnage

Man charged with murder after NY vehicle carnage

The report says Rojas told an officer he was going to kill all police and military police he might see after his release from jail.

A cab driver attacked in Jacksonville five years ago by a man now accused of plowing into a crowd of pedestrians on the sidewalks of Times Square told News4Jax that he feels sorry for the former Navy sailor.

Rojas was arrested on scene after he was driving speedily to strike dozens of pedestrians in New York City's Times Square on Thursday, killing one and injuring 22 more.

Richard Rojas, a 26-year-old from the Bronx stopped twice in the past for drunk driving, drove his Honda onto the sidewalk at 11:55 am (1555 GMT), smashing into pedestrians for three blocks at high speed, police said.

The U.S. navy veteran who steered his auto into pedestrians in Times Square has been charged with murder and held without bail. Her 13-year-old sister was injured.

One day after allegedly making a U-turn and steering the auto into the packed sidewalk for a three-block stretch, the 26-year-old suspect was arraigned on murder and other charges Friday.

It was not immediately clear when Rojas would get a lawyer or be arraigned.

He emerged from his vehicle, screaming and jumping up and down before he was subdued by bystanders and nearby police, witnesses said.

"He began screaming, no particular words but just utter screaming", said Ken Bradix, a security supervisor at a nearby Planet Hollywood restaurant who tackled Rojas. The officials weren't authorized to speak publicly and spoke to The Associated Press on the condition of anonymity.

William Aubry, the New York Police Department chief of Manhattan South Detectives, said that three victims were in critical condition Friday.

The Navy vet was arrested just last week and charged with pointing a knife at a notary, whom he accused of stealing his identity.

During this time, he had told police he was being harassed and followed. In 2012, he served aboard the USS Carney, a destroyer homeported in Mayport. They don't indicate why. Details were not immediately available. Her name was Alyssa Elsman and she had been visiting from MI with her family.

Authorities said they were studying ways to reinforce security around Times Square, one of the city's top tourist destinations. "That's all she ever cared about", Lemke said. "But if you could talk to her for a minute, you'd realise she was engaging".

The young woman is remembered by her principal as thoughtful, compassionate and bright.

Killed was Alyssa Elsman, an 18-year-old girl from MI and her 13-year-old sister was among the 22 injured, four of them critically.

A neighborhood friend of Rojas, Harrison Ramos, said that the suspect was noticeably different after coming back from home.



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