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MI teen visiting NY killed in Times Square crash

20 May 2017

In the Times Square incident, Rojas was charged with one count of murder in the second degree, aggravated vehicular homicide and multiple counts of attempted murder, a NY police spokesman said in an email late on Thursday.

The only person killed when a vehicle barreled into a crowd in New York City's Times Square was 18-year-old Alyssa Elsman of Portage, police say.

The body of a young woman identified as Alyssa Elsman, 18, a visitor from Portage, Michigan, lay covered with a bloodstained sheet at 43rd Street.

Witnesses to the wreck in Times Square say they watched in horror as the auto plowed into a group of pedestrians, killing one and injuring 22 others.

It was not immediately clear when Rojas would get a lawyer or be arraigned.

He served in the Navy from July 2011 to March 2014 and spent two months in the brig in Charleston, South Carolina after being court martialed, CBS News reports.

"He got out of the auto and he just started running until people tackled him down", Lowe said.

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When the police arrived on the scene, Richard reportedly attempted to flee.

Police said Rojas made a sudden U-turn onto West 42nd Street and drove north up the sidewalk for three blocks, passing tourist attractions such as the Hard Rock Cafe and the Bubba Gump Shrimp Co restaurant and mowing people down.

The picture that quickly emerged of Rojas from neighbors and authorities was of a man with problems.

Rojas has several prior criminal cases that paint a picture of a troubled man.

Officials said Rojas was arrested in 2008 and 2015 for driving under the influence, and in 2016 for menacing in different areas of NY.

Rojas was taken to Bellevue Hospital rather than to the city's central booking facility after being detained at a police precinct on Manhattan's Lower East Side, according to the police source who spoke to Reuters.

"Preliminarily it looks more like a vehicle accident than anything else", a NY police spokesman said.

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Richard Rojas, 26, appeared subdued during a brief court appearance where prosecutors detailed a felony murder charge.

The midday incident sparked fear in the heart of America's most populous city after deadly car-ramming attacks in London, Berlin and the French city of Nice, but authorities said there was no evidence the crash was terror-related.

Elizabeth Long, of Dayton, Ohio, told CNN she was walking to the Hard Rock Cafe when she saw a maroon vehicle heading toward her on the sidewalk. Police do not suspect a.

The incident does not appear to be linked to terrorism and is being investigated as an accident, according to New York City police, who are working with the FBI to investigate.

"He went through a real tough time", Ramos said, adding that he had lost contact with Rojas. The fire department said earlier that 22 people were injured, but police on Friday said the number was 20. However, further drug tests were being conducted while he remains in police custody, the Associated Press reported. "Local officials are investigating the cause of the incident", it said in a statement.

The vehicle collided with a metal pole and came to a stop at 45 Street and Broadway, police said.

Television images taken at the scene midday Thursday showed people being taken away on stretchers.

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There was no immediate word from New York City police on the number of people who were hurt.

MI teen visiting NY killed in Times Square crash