This is the Moment the Drug-Crazed Driver Tried to Flee Police in Times Square

On the afternoon of May 18, tragedy struck New York City, when a motorist inexplicably ploughed into pedestrians in Times Square, one of the biggest tourist hotspots in the world, leaving one person, an 18-year-old girl, dead and 22 others badly injured.

In the wake of the carnage, many terrified New Yorkers were convinced that the incident was some form of terrorist attack. Yet NYPD investigators quickly ascertained that the shocking collision was not an act of terror, and they managed to arrest the perpetrator at the scene. The driver who had caused so much chaos was quickly identified as 26-year-old Richard Rojas, who hails from the Bronx, and was apprehended taken into custody.

Immediately, even as the dust was settling and the wreckage of the vehicle was towed away from the pavement at 45th Street and Broadway, questions were raised about the man’s motives. What had compelled him to cause so much destruction? Apparently drug abuse was to blame. When police tested Rojas for narcotics they discovered that he had been heavily intoxicated at the time of the incident.

He had been smoking the synthetic marijuana compound known as K2 prior to the crash, and was also under the influence of PCP. Now shocking footage has emerged of the moment of Rojas’ arrest, as well as several other disturbing details about his delusional mindset.

Immediately after driving his speeding Honda sedan in to a pole, footage captured Rojas attempting to flee the scene, before law enforcement, and a bouncer from the nearby Planet Hollywood restaurant, managed to subdue him. Rojas appeared to be in a state of acute stimulant-induced psychosis as a result of his drug abuse, and was raving to police officers and frightened bystanders alike. “You were supposed to shoot me,” Rojas shouted at the cops,  “I wanted to kill them.”

Rojas has been charged with one count of murder, and a further 20 counts of attempted murder and five counts of aggravated vehicular homicide. But the former Navy electrician, who was discharged in 2014, already has a number of prior convictions to his name. Rojas was formerly arrested in 2008 and again 2015 for driving under the influence in the districts of Queens and Manhattan.

Only a week before this collision, Rojas was allegedly arrested after he pulled a knife on a man in the Bronx. He apparently threatened him by asking him “do you feel safe?”

Commenting on the scene, a witness named Alpha Balde stated “We saw the driver running toward Planet Hollywood in the middle of the block. The bouncer from Planet Hollywood knocked him out. He knocked him out so bad you could see the blood coming out of his face. That’s when I jumped in, I grabbed him from his neck and within about one minute everybody’s there.”

Our thoughts are with those who have been affected by this incident, as well as their families and friends.

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