Published: Sat, May 20, 2017
World | By Paul Elliott

Times Square auto suspect 'told police he wanted to kill them all'

Times Square auto suspect 'told police he wanted to kill them all'

Rojas appeared subdued during a brief court appearance where prosecutors detailed a felony murder charge. Four of them remain in critical condition, suffering from various traumatic injuries, including open fractures.

City authorities said they have no reason to suspect terrorism.

NEW YORK (AP) - A Times Square motorist accused of steering his vehicle onto one of the busiest sidewalks in the USA and mowing down pedestrians has been charged with murder and 20 counts of attempted murder, police say. He reportedly drove for three blocks before crashing into a metal pole. According to USA prosecutors, Rojas had "had glassy eyes, slurred speech, and was unsteady", during his arrest. "(The driver) was screaming - no particular words - but he was screaming and flailing his arms in all kinds of directions".

"I saw a vehicle driving down 7th Avenue on the sidewalk, and it was smoking", Ken Bradix, who runs security at the Times Square Planet Hollywood, told WNYW.

Witness, Juan Soto, told Sky News: "I came upon the scene - a gruesome scene with multiple victims on the sidewalk and the street".

New York Police Commissioner James O'Neill said preliminary information revealed that Rojas had been arrested in the past and two of those arrests were due to driving while intoxicated.

He told police he had smoked marijuana laced with PCP, according to a criminal complaint.

Navy records show Rojas enlisted in September 2011 and was based in IL and Florida, working as an electrician's mate fireman apprentice. He was most recently based at the Naval Air Station in Jacksonville, Florida, and was discharged in 2014.

Rojas enlisted in the service in July 2011 and spent six months on the destroyer USS Carney in 2012 while the ship conducted pirate interdiction operations off the Horn of Africa, naval records show.

Harrison Ramos, a friend, told DNAinfo that Rojas started drinking excessively after getting out of the Navy.

"He's been going through a real tough time", Ramos said. Several people close to Rojas encouraged him to seek psychological help, which he did not do. He pleaded guilty last week to harassment in the Bronx after he was accused of pulling a knife on a notary in his home.

He didn't enter a plea and was held without bail.

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