Deadly Times Square Driver Faces Multiple Charges as Criminal History Emerges
The perpetrator in Thursday’s Times Square car crash has been identified as Richard Rojas, age 26, and is in custody.
According to a Navy official, Rojas had been discharged from the Navy after receiving a special court martial.
Rojas enlisted in the Navy in 2011 and served as an electrician’s mate fireman apprentice, according to The Washington Post.
He was most recently based at the Naval Air Station in Jacksonville, Florida. In 2012 he was arrested at a naval base in Jacksonville, Florida, for allegedly attacking a cabdriver, then threatening to kill cops, reported the New York Post.
According to Navy records, Rojas spent two months in a naval brig in Charleston, South Carolina, in 2013. There is no indication yet as to why.
He was dishonorably discharged in 2014. Those who know him said that after his time in the military, his behavior changed.
"He finally came home, and it was hard for him to find a job," said Harrison Ramos, 30. "He was having a lot of bad nightmares. He was talking crazy. He was acting strange." Ramos added that Rojas would sometimes rant about "demons and devils" and obsess about conspiracy theories. He took to drinking to relieve his stress.
The attack injured 23 persons, including one fatality — an 18-year-old woman killed by the car, which plowed through pedestrians before it was stopped by a security barrier.
Rojas was captured at the scene and arrested. Law enforcement officials say that Rojas told them he was hearing voices. City officials have ruled out the possibility that the incident was an act of terrorism.
Now he faces a multitude of charges....STORY CONTINUES ON NEXT PAGE.