"I laced the marijuana with PCP".
A man accused of steering his vehicle onto one of the busiest sidewalks in the USA and mowing down pedestrians has been charged with murder and attempted murder. Investigators found materials that indicated Rojas has an interest in Scientology and made comments to police that indicated he thought the end of the world was coming.
Social media images show injured people on the street, a auto upended at an angle and crowds gathered in the heart of the tourist hub.
Rojas was arrested from the crime scene Thursday after he lost control of his vehicle, killing an 18-year-old MI woman named Alyssa Elsman and leaving 22 others injured.
Two law enforcement officials say Rojas told officers he was hearing voices.
In previous arrests, he told authorities he believed he was being harassed and followed, one of the police officials said.
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio likewise told reporters at a news conference near the scene of the rampage that based on information they have there is no indication that the incident was an act of terrorism.
In the Times Square incident, Rojas was charged with one count of murder in the second degree, aggravated vehicular homicide and multiple counts of attempted murder, a NY police spokesperson said in an email late on Thursday.
Three victims were in critical condition Friday. In the death of 18-year-old girl more than 20 people are in hospitals with various injuries.
She graduated from Portage Central High School. Harrison Ramos, a close friend, said Rojas had been going through a rough time ever since he returned home from serving in the Navy. "She will be deeply missed by the staff and students here".
Rojas reportedly has a criminal past, including two DWI arrests, according to NYPD officials.
Rojas pleaded guilty to a charge of harassment in the second degree, a violation, and was given a conditional discharge, the law enforcement source said. A military judge sentenced him to three months confinement.
According to Reuters, he said after being arrested: "You were supposed to shoot me!" He says he was walking toward the eatery Thursday when the vehicle barreled down the sidewalk and hit a pole, and driver Richard Rojas got out and started running away. The bouncer, Ken Bradix, has worked at Planet Hollywood for 17 years and was walking toward the restaurant when the he saw the vehicle careening down the sidewalk and the driver subsequently running away from the scene. "It was running over everybody that was in front of the auto". Elsman's 13-year-old sister was also hit.
"I am not a hero", Bradix said.
The complaint said that Rojas at one point ran toward an officer, shouting, "I wanted to kill them".
"Had it not been for the newly-installed bollards on the edge of a pedestrian plaza, which stopped Richard Rojas' auto, yesterday's tragedy could have been even worse", White continued. "It really isn't", he said of the Times Square crowd.
She watched the auto slam into a steel divider and catch fire, she said.
Proehl was hit by a piece of gravel but otherwise was not injured, she said. "We initially thought they were filming something".
Pedestrians had little time to react as the auto went the wrong way up the pavement before smashing into a row of steel security barriers installed in recent years to prevent vehicle attacks on the square.
The car's windshield was shattered and flames billowed from the hood.