NEW YORK - Four people are in critical condition after a terrifying accident in Times Square. Police say the man who hit them and 19 other people with his car is expected in court Friday.
While the scene is clear, protective barriers remain in place in the heart of the city, as an added precaution for any tourists who may still be fearful after Thursday’s incident.
Police have now charged 26-year-old Richard Rojas with murder and attempted murder after they say he drove onto the sidewalk Thursday at noon and mowed down a crowd of pedestrians.
Prosecutors said Rojas claimed he wanted to "kill them all" and said police should have shot him.
Amongst the victims was 18-year-old Alyssa Elsman, a tourist from Michigan who police say was killed when Rojas struck her.
CNN is now reporting that Rojas tested positive for the drug PCP after his arrest and investigators say he told them he was hearing voices at the time of the accident.
Based on the information we have at this moment, there is no indication that this was an act of terrorism.— Bill de Blasio (@NYCMayor) May 18, 2017
One of the bystanders who helped to tackle Rojas as he tried to get away from his wrecked car tells Boston 25 News he knew right away Rojas was acting odd.
“There was something wrong with him. They think there's an assumption that he was drunk. I've worked in security for 25 years and again like you said I'm not a doctor as well, but I know what alcohol does, I've seen it for 25 years. That wasn't alcohol. I think at this point once he was placed in the car, I then walked down the street, went to see the damage he had caused and then after that point he was taken into custody.”
Rojas already has two prior convictions for DWI, and was discharged from the Navy in 2014 after a court martial.
Of the 22 other victims, four are in critical condition, two in serious condition at local hospitals Friday morning.
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