19 May, 2017
He was expected to appear in court on Friday at an arraignment hearing.
When the police arrived on the scene, Richard reportedly attempted to flee. He got to 45th Street and Broadway before his vehicle was ultimately stopped by special barricades on the side of the street meant to keep cars from driving onto sidewalks.
Richard Rojas, 26, was arrested after his maroon sedan jumped the curb and hit 23 individuals in Times Square, killing Alyssa Elsman, an 18-year-old tourist from MI. The auto, a maroon Honda Accord, had traveled along the sidewalk for more than three blocks.
After hitting the barricade, Rojas jumped out and began running, yelling and jumping before police and bystanders wrestled him to the ground.
New York Police Commissioner James O'Neill said preliminary information revealed that Rojas had been arrested in the past.
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo and New York Mayor Bill de Blasio have both visited the scene.
Police closed off the area and buildings were on lock down. His last arrest was on menacing charges for allegedly putting a knife to a man's throat. He pleaded guilty to harassment, a violation, and was not sentenced to any prison time.
In previous arrests, he told authorities he believed he was being harassed and followed, one of the police officials said.
"People were being hit and rolling off the vehicle", said Josh Duboff, an employee at the adjacent Thomson Reuters headquarters who jumped out of the way to avoid being struck.
Rojas enlisted in the US Navy in 2011 and served on the destroyer USS Carney in 2012. Carney, a destroyer. Navy records show that in 2013 he spent two months at a naval brig in Charleston, South Carolina. They do not indicate why.
Rojas' motivation was unclear but a troubled history has emerged that saw him discharged from the US Navy over disciplinary problems in 2014, following three years of service as an electrician's mate fireman apprentice. Details of the circumstances were not immediately available.