Times Square auto crash driver Richard Rojas 'heard voices'

Times Square auto crash driver Richard Rojas 'heard voices'

Times Square auto crash driver Richard Rojas 'heard voices'

Details of the circumstances were not immediately available.

Investigators look under a smashed auto that sits on the corner of Broadway and 45th Street in New York's Times Square after ploughing through a crowd of pedestrians at lunchtime on Thursday, May 18, 2017.

Rojas faces charges of one count of second-degree murder, five counts of aggravated vehicular homicide and 20 counts of attempted murder, police said.

An 18-year-old MI woman died and 22 other people were injured when the vehicle barreled up the sidewalk.

Rojas enlisted in the Navy in 2011.

Rojas was also arrested on suspicion of battery in 2012 at the Mayport Naval Base in Jacksonville, Florida, where he was stationed at the time. They don't indicate why.

Alyssa Elsman died on Thursday when a man drove his auto down the sidewalk for three blocks into the heart of New York City's theater district.

After the crash, the driver climbed out of the vehicle and began to run away, witnesses and police said.

Police who arrested the driver identified him as Richard Rojas, 26, from the New York City borough of the Bronx.

Just a week before the latest incident, Rojas was arrested and charged with pointing a knife at a notary.

Copyright 2017 The Associated Press.

"Times Square, we got a auto running people over on 42-7, going northbound on 7th ave, running people over", one NYPD dispatcher said, according to audio clips from Broadcastify.

But childhood friend Harrison Ramos said he saw Rojas' troubled side.

Rojas' mother brought in for questioning Thursday; she said nothing to reporters as detectives led her to a waiting auto.

Family friends say Rojas has been living on Walton Avenue in the Mount Eden section of the Bronx with his mother after serving in the armed forces.

One neighbor says Rojas is a "good person" and he doesn't know what happened to him.

Thursday's incident invoked comparisons to July 2016, when a man driving a truck killed at least 84 people, 10 of them children, and injured 202 in the French city of Nice. The officials weren't authorized to speak publicly and spoke to The Associated Press on the condition of anonymity.

Rojas was reportedly a Navy veteran with a history of driving under influence (DUIs) arrests.

Terrorism isn't suspected in the crash.

A U.S. Navy veteran plowed his vehicle into pedestrians in New York City's packed Times Square on Thursday, May 18, killing an 18-year-old woman and injuring 22 people.

He was expected to appear in court on Friday at an arraignment hearing.

Police said Rojas made a sudden U-turn onto West 42nd Street and drove north up the sidewalk for three blocks, passing tourist attractions such as the Hard Rock Cafe and the Bubba Gump Shrimp Co restaurant and mowing people down.

Rojas was in custody and unable to comment. Sources say he blew a 0.0 when tested for alcohol at the precinct he was brought to for questioning.

Parts of Times Square have been roped off to keep pedestrians, tourists and others away from the crash site.

A tourist from Argentina told CNN affiliate WABC that he was shocked to see the auto that "was like bowling, hitting people".

Witnesses spoke of fear and panic as the auto hurtled through the crowd at the start of the lunch hour as people enjoyed one of the first warm days of summer in an area typically packed with tourists and office workers. "Alyssa was always the person you could just go to", Kaedon Layne told 24 Hour News 8. Hearing screams and fearing that the auto would hit her, she ran to a nearby building's revolving door.

When Long went outside and looked in the direction the auto had gone, she saw at least six people lying on the ground, including a woman lying face-down with blood pouring from her head. Police do not suspect a.

The sidewalks around Times Square are secured with more than 200 steel bollards meant to prevent accidental or criminal vehicle intrusions, said Rob Reiter, chief security consultant for CalPipe Security Bollards. In previous arrests, he told authorities he believed he was being harassed and followed, one of the law enforcement officials said. People quickly started trying to help the injured victims.

White House press secretary Sean Spicer tweeted that Trump was briefed before NY authorities confirmed the death.

Trump is holding a news conference at the White House later Thursday with Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos.

A vehicle traveling through Times Square has driven into a crowd of pedestrians, injuring several people.

As New York City engineers examine the Times Square wreck, Calpipe will work with them to determine if improvements to the protective posts are necessary, Rob Reiter, the firm's security consultant, told KPCC.

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