Elsman's 13-year-old sister was also struck by the vehicle, but survived, police said. The sources say Rojas, who has a history of DWI arrests and license suspensions, made a wrong turn on Seventh Avenue and started careening down the sidewalk, mowing down pedestrians before crashing into a traffic pole.
A speeding red sedan struck pedestrians on a sidewalk in New York City's Times Square yesterday, killing at least one person.
The New York Police Department charged Richard Rojas, 26, with murder, 20 counts of attempted murder and five counts of aggravated vehicular homicide on the evening of May 18, just hours after he plowed his auto onto the sidewalk of the busiest area of New York City, police confirmed to the New York Post.
A smashed auto sits on the corner of Broadway and 45th Street in New York's Times Square after driving through a crowd of pedestrians Thursday, May 18, 2017. An 18-year-old tourist from MI was killed.
NYPD Commissioner James O'Neill told reporters that Rojas is a US citizen who has served in the Navy.
After the wreck, Rojas emerged from his vehicle running, yelling and jumping before being subdued by police and bystanders.
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After his arrest, Rojas told officers he was "hearing voices" and expected to die, police officials said. The officials weren't authorized to speak publicly and spoke to The Associated Press on the condition of anonymity.
Speaking to reporters Thursday afternoon, Mayor Bill de Blasio said the crash was not an act of terror.
Richard does not have a clean past, and just one week ago, he was arrested for pointing a knife at a notary.
Rojas is from the Bronx and has a history of arrests on charges of driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol, O'Neill said.
Rojas is a US citizen and former member of the armed services. Rojas was seen being hauled into a police vehicle.
It's unclear if Rojas has a lawyer for his arraignment Friday.