Man Who Drove Into Times Square Crowd Charged With Murder

Carla Harmon
May 20, 2017

Manhattan prosecutors said in court that Richard Rojas told police after his arrest that he wanted to "kill them all", and that officers should have shot him.

Investigators will search Rojas' vehicle and Bronx apartment soon, and are awaiting toxicology results to confirm that Rojas had PCP in his system as he told arresting officers, Aubry said. Police said the young woman killed on the sidewalk was Alyssa Elsman, 18, who was on vacation with her family from MI.

Elsman was visiting NY with her mother and 13-year-old sister.

A Portage teen is dead and her 13 year old sister injured after a Navy veteran high on drugs drove his auto for three and a half blocks on packed Times Square sidewalks Thursday afternoon.

He has not entered a plea and is due in court next week.


Rojas drove his auto from the Bronx to Times Square, where he sped into the bustling Crossroads of the World, hitting almost two dozen people on the sidewalk before steel security barriers finally stopped him, authorities said.

A week ago, Rojas had pleaded guilty to a harassment violation after being arrested for pointing a knife at someone he accused of stealing his identity.

He also has two previous drunken driving cases.

Rojas, who enlisted in the Navy in 2011, was an electrician's mate fireman apprentice.

Rojas served at a Navy base in Florida and aboard a destroyer, USS Carney.


"Once I got close enough to him, that's when he proceeded to attack me", said the cab driver, who asked not to be identified.

According to sources, Rojas' statements were rambling, saying he'd been hearing voices and talked about the last day on Earth.

Police officers secure the area near a auto after it plunged into pedestrians in Times Square in NY on May 18. He spent two months in a military prison in Charleston, South Carolina, in the summer of 2013, but the Navy records did not say why.

Richard Rojas, 26, of the Bronx, was arrested and charged with second-degree murder for allegedly driving his vehicle up a Seventh Avenue sidewalk.

Rojas returned from his Navy service with a drinking problem and had posted "crazy stuff" on social media, said a friend, Mr Harrison Ramos, speaking to Reuters at the Bronx apartment building where Rojas lives. Eyewitness News New York reports suspect 26-year-old Richard Rojas of the Bronx appeared extremely impaired after the crash and it's believed he had been smoking the drug. "He left his house at 10:30 yesterday morning, and at 11:54 he came to Times Square", Aubry said.


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