A U.S. Navy veteran plowed his vehicle into pedestrians in New York City's packed Times Square, killing an 18-year-old woman and injuring 22 people.
Twenty-six-year-old Richard Rojas was taken into custody Thursday after the crash that killed a teenager and injured 22 other people.
An 18-year-old tourist from MI was killed and her 13-year-old sister was among the 22 injured, four of them critically.
Vanguard gathered that the incident was not an act of terrorism from police source and witnesses. They said he had been arrested twice for drunken driving in 2008 and 2015, and once earlier this month for menacing.
A vehicle rests on a security barrier in New York's Times Square after it plowed through a crowd of pedestrians on Thursday. Photos from the scene showed multiple victims on the ground near the maroon Honda sedan, which came to rest on two wheels, wedged up against a light pole and 3-feet-tall metal "bollard" barriers.
A smashed vehicle sits on the corner of Broadway and 45th Street in New York's Times Square after driving through a crowd of pedestrians Thursday, May 18, 2017.
Police say Elsman's 13-year-old sister was among the people who were struck but survived.
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After the auto struck a barricade and stopped, the driver climbed out of his vehicle.
"Don't make him out to be a terrorist or something", Ramos said.
"We were just touring, seeing how lovely Times Square was", Prasad said.
"The vehicle, occupied by a male driver, proceeded to drive at a high rate of speed along the sidewalk from 42nd Street to 45th Street, striking a number of pedestrians along the way".
Harlem resident Tyezhane, 20, who would only give her first name, said she was walking to work at a shoe store when she saw the auto on the sidewalk.
Bradix says Rojas was screaming and swinging his arms and got away from three people who tried to grab him. Law enforcement sources Rojas appeared to be under the influence of drugs or alcohol when he was taken into custody.
Witnesses in Times Square watched in horror as auto plowed over pedestrians, killing one and injuring 19 others. "We feel deeply for those injured and particularly for the family of the young woman who was lost".
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He was arrested a year later at a naval base in Jacksonville, Florida, where officials said he attacked a cab driver, shouted "my life is over", and threatened to kill police, according to court records.
Four people are in a critical condition, three are serious and the others also needed treatment for their injuries.
The sidewalks around Times Square are secured with more than 200 steel bollards meant to prevent accidental or criminal vehicle intrusions, said Rob Reiter, chief security consultant for CalPipe Security Bollards.
President Donald Trump "has been made aware of the situation in Times Square and will continue to receive updates", his spokesman Sean Spicer said.
White House press secretary Sean Spicer tweeted that Trump was briefed before NY authorities confirmed the death.
A witness told Reuters news agency they saw seven people being loaded onto stretchers, shoes scattered around the scene and one person covered in a bloodstained blanket. I was briefed at the scene by Commissioner O'Neill and saw firsthand the professionalism and diligence of New York's first responders. "I don't think there was actually time for screaming".
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