Richard Rojas identified as Times Square car crash suspect

Friday, 19 May, 2017

A man with a history of drunken driving, has been charged with murder after police say he barreled a vehicle through the crowded sidewalks in Manhattan's Time Square, leaving one person dead and injuring 22.

The auto came to rest with two of its wheels in the air, leaning on a lamppost and steel barriers meant to block vehicles from getting onto the sidewalk.

The accused tried to flee after the incident but was arrested and taken from Midtown to the Seventh Precinct to undergo drug and alcohol testing. Law enforcement sources told ABC News initial tests have come back negative for alcohol but positive for drugs.

Police confirmed Rojas passed the breathalyzer test, however, he admitted to smoking marijuana before driving the vehicle and tested positive for PCP. "He just got his auto back, a Honda", Jose Medrano, 27, told the publication. -Police believe Rojas might be suffering from a psychological disorder. This press conference indicates Rojas did a U-turn onto the sidewalk and then drove for three blocks before crashing.

An arrest report from the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office said Rojas yelled at an officer, "My life is over", and threatened to kill police after his release from jail. He was driving 90mph in a 50mph zone in one of these two cases.

Only a week ago, Rojas was arrested at his apartment for threatening another man with a knife.

Rojas enlisted in the Navy in September 2011.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo was at the scene of the crash, and police and city officials were expected there. One friend, Harrison Ramos, said that Richard has been different ever since ending his time serving in the military.

Brooklyn resident Asa Lowe was standing outside the Levi's store enjoying the weather when he heard screaming. "We saw people running and walked toward where they were running from and saw people on the ground". He left the Navy in May 2014.

After being read his Miranda rights, Rojas said he was going to beat up the driver because he owed him $162 and disrespected him, the report said.

"I saw the vehicle coming in fast, no brake, no nothing", said Alpha Balde, a 57-year-old who, as an employee for Gray Line, was touting sightseeing bus tours near the scene.

"The guy got out of the auto, running, screaming - not any particular words - he was just screaming and flailing his arms", Bradix said.

"There were bodies covered in blood". "Multiple people injured. Notify everyone". "People just got stunned", he said. Alpha Balde, who works in the square selling sightseeing tour tickets, said he and Bradix jumped on top of Rojas and held him until police took over.

The White House says that President Trump has been "made aware" of what has happened.