Twenty-two people were seriously injured and one 18-year-old girl was killed in the Times Square attack. The driver has been identified as 26-year-old Richard Rojas of the Bronx.
He blew a 0.0 when tested for alcohol but his drug tests came back positive. He is believed to have been high on synthetic marijuana, also known as K2, when he plowed into the crowd with his car.
The crazed Rojas tried to flee police after crashing his Honda sedan into a pole. Pictures of him running away show that he was flailing his arms and jumping up and down. The look on his face can’t even be described…
Police have reported that his arrest did not go smoothly. Rojas got into a fistfight with an officer as they were struggling to arrest him. He was eventually shoved into the back of a squad car.
That’s when his “reasoning” for the horrific crime came out. He told police he wanted to kill the pedestrians, according to the New York Post. Then he wanted cops to take aim and kill him as well.
He told police: “You were supposed to shoot me. I wanted to kill them.”
Officials said Rojas was arrested in 2008 and 2015 for driving under the influence in Queens and Manhattan, and in 2016 for menacing in different areas of New York.
Last week, he was arrested after pulling a knife on a man in the Bronx and asking him ‘do you feel safe?’. According to an arrest report obtained by DailyMail.com, he thought the man was trying to steal his identity.
Rojas was allowed to walk free after striking up a deal with the Bronx District Attorney’s Office.
‘When he was arraigned he pleaded to a lesser charge at the arraignment,’ a spokesman said.
Friends of the man said he appeared in high spirits on Wednesday night and gave no indication of what he was planning.
They told DNA Info that he had been drinking heavily and often spoke about ‘conspiracies, demons and devils’. After being arrested, he told authorities how he thought it was the ‘last day on earth’.
Of the 22 people that were injured, police said that 4 were in critical condition with open fractures and multiple traumas. Three others are seriously injured. All were hospitalized.
One victim, however, did not escape with her life. Eighteen-year-old Alyssa Elsman was from Michigan; she was on vacation with her family.
She was walking around Times Square with her 13-year-old sister when the attack happened. She died on scene.
Her sister was also struck.
Rojas drove up Seventh Avenue in the wrong direction and made a U-turn onto the west sidewalk.
He proceeded to plow into pedestrians for three blocks before crashing into a pole and attempting to run away.
Witnesses reported that Rojas kept driving while one of the victims was clinging on his windshield.
Asa Lowe witnessed people tackling Rojas after the crash. “He just started running until people tackled him down. Citizens just reacted,” he said.
Extra police from the anti-terror units have been deployed until further notice.