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Times Square driver talked of hearing voices

Times Square driver talked of hearing voices

Police say a 26-year-old U.S. Navy veteran with two prior arrests for driving while intoxicated has been taken in custody after his auto plowed into 23 pedestrians in Times Square, killing one of them.

The speeding vehicle jumped the sidewalk on the west side of 7th Avenue at 42nd Street and plowed into pedestrians for three blocks before crashing at the northwest corner of 45th Street, police said.

Police say an 18-year-old woman killed by a auto that plowed through pedestrians in Times Square was a tourist from Portage, Michigan.

A NY man who ploughed his vehicle into a Times Square crowd, killing a teen tourist and injuring 22 others, wanted to commit murder, and then wanted cops to kill him, police sources have revealed.

"Based on the information we have at this moment, there is no indication that this was an act of terrorism", Mayor Bill de Blasio told a news conference at the scene. The sources say Rojas, who has a history of DWI arrests and license suspensions, made a wrong turn on Seventh Avenue and started careening down the sidewalk, mowing down pedestrians before crashing into a traffic pole.

He was arrested after the incident, New York Police Commissioner James O'Neill said. She watched the auto slam into a steel divider and catch fire, she said.

She was with her 13-year-old sister, who was also injured, when she was hit. -Rojas, who is a notary, was arrested earlier this month for threatening someone who came to his home to get a pension notarized.

The sidewalks in many parts of Times Square and surrounding blocks are lined with metal posts created to prevent cars from getting onto the sidewalks and other public areas. Twenty-one others were injured.

A week ago, Rojas was arrested and charged with pointing a knife at a notary, whom he accused of stealing his identity.

Another witness, who would only identify himself as Andrew, said the driver was "aiming for as many people as he could possibly get".

The apartment building where Rojas lives was cordoned off by police Thursday.

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.

"She would always text me back as quick as she could and when I didn't hear from her or her friend, I knew something terrible happened", West said.

"She looked out for her younger siblings [and] would always play with them", the relative says, noting that they hardly argued.

Witnesses spoke of fear and panic as the vehicle hurtled through the crowd at the start of the lunch hour as people enjoyed one of the first warm days of summer in an area typically packed with tourists and office workers. "This hurts, this makes me feel bad this news", neighbor Jose Medrano said. The driver appeared to have been either drunk or on drugs, a law enforcement official said. She and her daughter were shopping when the auto sped toward them.

Friend Harrison Ramos told reporters that Rojas hadn't been the same since he returned from active duty in the Navy.

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

The New York City Fire Department posted this picture of the incident.


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