Details Released On Man Who Plowed Into Times Square Crowd; His Photos Are Bizarre
Chaos struck Times Square Thursday morning as a wrong-way car plowed into a group of pedestrians on a sidewalk.
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio gave a brief press conference a couple hours after the incident, according to Politico.
“23 individuals were injured in this incident. And that includes, tragically, one young woman who has passed away,” he said.
He added, “The perpetrator is in custody. He’s a United States citizen and a former member of the armed forces.”
He made it clear that he has no information to indicate that this was an act of terror.
The driver, identified as Richard Rojas, has been described as a possibly intoxicated 26-year-old Bronx with a history of DUIs, threats, and assaults. He is a Navy veteran arrested earlier this month for threatening someone with a knife, according to Reuters.
The photos the NY Daily News obtained of him moments after he ran his car up onto metal stanchions are surreal:
It's unclear why he's airborne in this shot, which is so bizarre it almost defies reality.
A traffic agent pinned him down as he tried to flee, keeping him in place until he could be taken into custody.
His friend Harrison Ramos told Reuters, "Don't make him out to be a terrorist or something. He served his country and when he came back, nobody helped him. He went through a real tough time. That's my friend. I care about him, and it hurts."
Police say Rojas was attempting suicide-by-cop, according to the New York Post.
“You were supposed to shoot me! I wanted to kill them,” he reportedly told officers.
Prayers for the victims and their families!