Suspect in deadly Times Square crash charged with murder

By Spectrum News, Team Coverage
Last Updated: Friday, May 19, 2017, 3:37 PM EDT

Times Square was completely reopened Friday morning after being closed for hours following Thursday deadly car crash.

The New York Police Department has ruled out terrorism, but there are still plenty of unanswered questions.

The driver, 26-year-old Richard Rojas, of the Bronx, is charged with murder, 20 counts of attempted murder and five counts of aggravated vehicular homicide.

The crash happened just before noon. Investigators said Rojas was driving south on 7th Avenue and made a U-turn onto the sidewalk as he approached 42nd Street.

He allegedly drove on the sidewalk for three-and-a-half blocks to 45th Street and plowed into 23 pedestrians along the way.

Rojas then crashed into the metal barriers at 45th Street and exited the vehicle. Witnesses said he was screaming and flailing his arms.

Rojas went running through the street before he was subdued by police and bystanders and taken into custody.

Rojas initially tested negative for alcohol, but more detailed drug tests were pending, according to two law enforcement officials who were not authorized to speak publicly and spoke to The Associated Press on the condition of anonymity. The officials said Rojas told officers he had been hearing voices.

Officials say he had served in the U.S. Navy but was discharged following disciplinary problems. After his arrest, he told police he was "hearing voices" and expected to die, two law enforcement officials said.

Rojas' motivation was unclear, but Democratic Mayor Bill de Blasio said there was "no indication that this was an act of terrorism."

The AP also reported that Rojas was arrested last week after he pointed a knife at a notary and accused the notary of stealing his identity.

Information from the Associated Press was used in this report.