Published: Fri, May 19, 2017
Worldwide | By Gretchen Simon

Auto ploughs into pedestrians in New York's Time Square

Auto ploughs into pedestrians in New York's Time Square

Following tests police has said they think the suspect may have been high on drugs, notably synthetic marijuana.

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

The carnage happened in a part of the city that has always been considered a possible terrorist target because of its large crowds, a concern that became elevated after the September 11 attacks and compounded by recent attacks in England, France and Germany in which vehicles plowed through crowds of pedestrians.

The dead woman was named by police as Alyssa Elsman, 18, who was on vacation with her family from MI.

In the Bronx, neighborhood acquaintances said Rojas was a friendly man who had been having problems. "She was bright. She was amusing".

Rojas enlisted in the Navy in 2011 and was an electrician's mate fireman apprentice, according to the Navy.

He was arrested on charges of driving while intoxicated in 2008 and 2015, police Commissioner James O'Neill said. In 2012 he served aboard the U.S.S.

Navy records show Rojas spent two months in a military prison in Charleston, South Carolina, in the summer of 2013 but do not specify why. He was most recently based at the Naval Air Station in Jacksonville, Florida, and was discharged in 2014. Details of the circumstances were not immediately available. They don't indicate why.

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The crash happened at midday on a hot, clear day that brought large crowds of people into the streets to enjoy the good weather. Security camera footage showed the vehicle slam into pedestrians who moments earlier were ambling along, some carrying shopping bags and others pushing baby strollers.

"I was just doing something that I hope people would do, because I was trying to do the right thing", he said.

Bradix, who has been working at Planet Hollywood since 2000, added he doesn't consider himself a hero.

Annette Proehl, of Pennsylvania, was in Times Square with children on a field trip when she heard the screeching tires of the vehicle and people screaming.

Planet Hollywood said Bradix "selflessly and heroically took action, helping to stop the fleeing suspect". President Donald Trump, whose home at Trump Tower is one mile from the crash scene, was made aware of the incident nearly immediately and given updates, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer tweeted.

Balde said he and Bradix jumped on top of Rojas, lifted his shirt to make sure he had no weapons and held him until police arrived moments later. Many sidewalks are lined with barricades and planters to deter vehicle attacks.

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.

"We were just touring, seeing how handsome Times Square was", Prasad said.

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