Times Square Car Crash Driver 'Heard Voices'
The man who was driving the car that lead to the massive crash on May 18, leaving one teenager dead and injuring 22 others. He said he expected to die, the sources told AP news agency.
According to Reuters, he said after being arrested: "You were supposed to shoot me! I wanted to kill them." One of the officials said Mr. Rojas had also reported hearing voices and having hallucinations.
The man is identified as Richard Rojas and he did not speak much about his three years in a Navy uniform, but when he returned to the Bronx from a naval base in Jacksonville, Fla., in 2014, he was a different man. He was taken to Bellevue Hospital Center on Thursday night, May 18, for an evaluation and remained in police custody. Late Thursday, Mr. Rojas was charged with murder, attempted murder and aggravated vehicular homicide.
The incident evoked recent terrorist attacks by vehicles in London, Nice and Berlin but New York Mayor Bill de Blasio said there was "no indication" it was an act of terrorism.
Massive Car Crash Leaves
Trail Of Injuries In Times Square
An 18-year-old woman was killed and at least 22 people injured Thursday when a speeding car plowed into pedestrians in Manhattan's bustling Times Square, city officials said. The 26-year-old driver, a US Navy veteran and US citizen, is in custody.
"There is no indication that this was an act of terrorism," said New York Mayor Bill de Blasio. The FBI is investigating the incident at the Midtown Manhattan tourist venue, but so far officials say there is no terror link.
NYPD said the suspect, Richard Rojas, is a Bronx resident who was arrested in 2008 and 2015 for drunk driving. Before striking pedestrians, the car was "out of control," an emergency management official said. Four people were critically injured but are expected to survive, officials said.
The sidewalks around Times Square are secured with more than 200 steel bollards intended to prevent accidental or criminal vehicle intrusions, said Rob Reiter, chief security consultant for CalPipe Security Bollards. The bollards are designed to stop vehicles going about 30 miles an hour, he said.
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A red Honda sedan hit a curb and then multiple pedestrians at the corner of Seventh Ave. and W. 43rd St. at about noon. Several people were injured during the massive accident in Midtown Thursday, May 18, according to officials.
But a witness told Reuters the vehicle drove against traffic before hitting the kerb and striking pedestrians.
An elderly man behind the wheel was taken into police custody. At least 13 patients were being treated at the scene, according to the New York Fire Department. Seven people were being placed on stretchers, a Reuters witness said.
Shoes were scattered at the scene and one person was covered by a bloodstained blanket, the Reuters witness said. A senior city official tells NBC News that one person has died in the crash.
Multiple social media accounts were reporting seeing people being injured and carried away in stretchers. The investigation continues.
NYC School Turns Away Immigration Agent Looking For Fourth-Grader
An immigration agent tried to search for a fourth-grader at Queens school — but was sent packing by staff, according to city officials.
The lone agent from the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) didn’t have a warrant and he was dismissed by an administrator and a school safety official, a Department of Education rep added.
The agent was told the student was not in school, Floyd added — although he didn’t know if the administrator or safety officer provided that information. It isn’t clear if the move violates city protocol.
A source familiar with the situation said that while the safety officer notified the administration, she did not immediately contact the NYPD’s school safety command — and that does go against city requirements. The violation could result in disciplinary action, most likely a docked vacation day.
City Schools Dominate
New York City can claim bragging rights when it comes to the best high schools in the state, according to a new Top 10 list.
The High School of American Studies at Lehman College was named best in the state for the fourth year in a row in the annual rankings U.S. News & World Report released Tuesday April 25. Public schools in the city, including one privately run charter school, dominated all of the state’s top 10 spots. Manhattan Bridges High School ranked No. 2, followed by the High School for Math, Science and Engineering at CCNY, and KIPP Academy Charter School.
“It’s wonderful that there are so many hard-working and successful students in New York City,” said Alessandro Weiss, principal of the High School for American Studies. “They’re all products of the city’s public school system and it goes all the way back to elementary school.”
Queens Woman Dies After Drunken Off-duty
Cop Slams Into Her Car
Vanessa Raghubar, 22, was returning from her sister’s birthday celebration Sunday April 24 at about 4 a.m. when Officer Neville Smith, 32, crashed his 2010 Mercedes-Benz into her Honda, cops said. The collision sent Raghubar’s car into a tree and a light pole, critically injuring her and her two passengers. Rescuers rushed the woman to Jamaica Hospital, along with her sister Maria Raghubar, 21, and her sister’s boyfriend, Justin Harricharran, 20, officials said.
Smith, a detective assigned to the 48th Precinct was charged Sunday, April 23, with vehicular assault, assault, driving while intoxicated and refusal to take a Breathalyzer test. Upgraded charges are expected.
Inwood Arts Group To Host Free
Outdoor Film Series
The series, called "Film Works Alfresco!," is being organized by Inwood Art Works — the same group behind the Inwood Film Festival in March. Twelve films will be screened at Gaelic Field in Inwood Hill Park every Monday between June 5 and August 21, according to Inwood Art Works.
The 12 films being shown during the summer-long series include public access productions, professional films and a selection of short films all focused on the Inwood Community.
Harlem: Motorcyclist Without Helmet Killed In Crash As Son Watches
Anthony Williams was on his way to his mother’s Bronx home when he rammed his white KTM RS motorcycle into a parked Jeep Grand Cherokee on W. 142nd St. just west of Lenox Ave. about 3:15 p.m. on Friday April 14, cops said. “It just happened in less than 30 seconds,” said the victim’s son Kevin Williams.
After hitting the Jeep, the father of three struck the trunk of a parked Ford Taurus and was thrown from the bike, police said. The motorcycle kept on going, striking a third parked car. First responders took Williams to Harlem Hospital but he could not be saved.
Morningside Heights 'Studio' Listed As
$750 A Month
The New York real estate market never fails to amaze. What appears to be a "closet" in the back of a Morningside Heights brownstone is being advertised on Craigslist as a $750 per month studio apartment.
The "studio," located on West 117th street, appears to be targeted toward college students looking to venture off campus. The listing, which was posted to Craigsliston Friday, notes the apartment's close proximity to Columbia University and makes multiple comparisons between it and a dorm room.
"That's a closet. They're renting a closet," said Reddit commenter Fontanella404.
Another joked: "You'd have to evict the young wizard in residence there first," referencing Harry Potter who lived in a closet under the stairs.
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