New York Times Square crash: Teenage victim named as Alyssa Elsman

Car rams Times Square pedestrians kills one injures others
One killed, 22 hurt as car plows into crowd in NY's Times Square
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20 May, 2017

Rojas's vehicle had been repossessed, said neighbor Jose Mederano, adding that he got it back Wednesday night.

The suspect reportedly told the authorities that he had smoked marijuana laced with PCP before the rampage.

Officials are awaiting toxicology results, though Rojas "had glassy eyes, slurred speech, and was unsteady", during his arrest, the complaint said. He said that out of an "abundance of caution", security across key locations around the city will be stepped up and major sites in the city will get additional police coverage from the anti-terror units.

Rojas's lawyer and weeping supporters had no comment.

Police said the young woman killed on the sidewalk was Alyssa Elsman, 18, who was on vacation with her family from MI.

Richard Rojas entered no plea during his court appearance on Friday, a day after he apparently killed a teenage girl and injured at least 20 people in Times Square.

When Rojas got out of the vehicle, he started to run from the scene but was tackled by traffic cops and civilians.

Twenty-three people were struck by the auto before it was stopped by a security barrier. "It was running over everybody that was in front of the auto".

"When he hits the stanchion, there is a traffic agent that ends up tackling him".

Officials revealed that Rojas, a Navy veteran, had recently been arrested for menacing, for allegedly pulling a knife on a stranger and saying "Do you feel safe?" on a Bronx street.

He also had two previous drunken driving cases. Rojas spent his final months in the Navy at the Naval Air Station in Jacksonville, Florida.

Navy records show Rojas enlisted in September 2011 and was based in IL and Florida, working as an electrician's mate fireman apprentice.

In 2012, he was arrested and accused of beating a cab driver whom he said had disrespected him by trying to charge too much, according to the arrest report. Rojas was charged at the time with misdemeanor battery and resisting an officer without violence, but it was unclear how the case was resolved.

Navy records show that in 2013 he spent two months at a naval prison in Charleston, South Carolina, but do not indicate why.

A neighborhood friend in the Bronx, Harrison Ramos, said Rojas wasn't the same when he came back from the Navy in 2014.


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