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The Latest: Times Square driver talked of hearing voices

May 18, 2017
Associated Press

NEW YORK (AP) — The Latest on a car striking pedestrians in Times Square (all times local):

4:35 p.m.

Two law enforcement officials say a driver accused of running down pedestrians in Times Square told officers he was hearing voices and expected to die.

Authorities say Richard Rojas was taken into custody Thursday after mowing down 23 people, including a teenager who died.

The two law enforcement officials say Rojas tested negative for alcohol, but drug tests were still pending.

The officials weren't authorized to speak publicly and spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity.

Police say the 26-year-old Navy veteran was arrested last week after he pointed a knife at a notary and accused the notary of stealing his identity.

One official says Rojas told authorities when arrested previously that he believed he was being followed.

It isn't clear when Rojas might get a lawyer.

Terrorism isn't suspected in the crash.

— By Tom Hays and Colleen Long

___

1:45 p.m.

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 car plowed into 23 pedestrians in Times Square, killing one of them.

Witnesses said Richard Rojas appeared to be intoxicated, and he was taken into custody Thursday afternoon. Witnesses reported that he drove the wrong way and on a sidewalk for at least three blocks, mowing down pedestrians.

Rojas was in custody and unable to comment. Police Commissioner James O'Neill says the crash doesn't appear to be related to terrorism.

Police say the Bronx man was being tested for alcohol and drugs.

___

1:20 p.m.

Witnesses in Times Square watched in horror as car plowed over pedestrians, killing one and injuring 19 others.

Brooklyn resident Asa (AY-suh) Lowe was standing outside the Levi's store enjoying the weather when he heard screaming around midday Thursday. He turned around and saw the car hitting people on the sidewalk.

He says the driver was "just mowing down people. He didn't stop."

The car hit a barricade and stopped. Lowe says the driver then got out of his car and started running until people tackled him.

Lowe saw injured people, including a woman who "had tracks all over her body."

Police say a 26-year-old man was in custody and was suspected of driving while intoxicated.

___

12:55 p.m.

The White House says that President Donald Trump has been "made aware" that a car plowed into a crowd of pedestrians in Times Square and that he will continue to receive updates as the situation unfolds.

New York City law enforcement officials say at least one person was killed after a car traveling through the popular tourist area drove into a crowd of pedestrians around lunchtime Thursday. About 20 other people were injured.

White House press secretary Sean Spicer tweeted that Trump was briefed before New York authorities confirmed the death.

Officials say the driver is in custody and being tested for alcohol.

Trump is holding a news conference at the White House later Thursday with Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos.

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12:40 p.m.

A law enforcement official says a car that plowed into a crowd of pedestrians in Times Square killed one person and injured about 20 others.

The official told The Associated Press that the driver was taken into custody after the Thursday lunchtime crash and is being tested for alcohol.

The official spoke on condition of anonymity because the investigation was ongoing.

Police do not suspect a link to terrorism.

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

The car came to rest with two of its wheels in the air, leaning on a lamppost and steel barriers intended to block vehicles from getting onto the sidewalk.

— By Colleen Long

___

12:20 p.m.

A car traveling through Times Square has driven into a crowd of pedestrians, injuring several people.

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

The car came to rest with two of its wheels in the air, leaning on a lamppost and steel barriers intended to block vehicles from getting onto the sidewalk.

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

 
 
 

 

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