One person was killed and 22 injured after a speeding vehicle rammed into pedestrians in Times Square, New York City, on Thursday. US Navy recruit Richard Rojas, 26, was arrested at the scene and charged with murder in the second degree, 20 counts of attempted murder and five counts of aggravated vehicular homicide, reported news agency AFP. The victim was 18-year-old Alyssa Elsman. Police had ruled out an act of terror following the incident.
The vehicle, a red Honda Accord, was driver at high speed over the side-walk for three blocks before crashing into a metal pole and coming to a halt. The damaged car was later seen spewing fire and smoke which was doused out by fire tenders.
Rojas, who has previously been arrested for drunk driving in 2008 and 2015, was earlier this month detained on charges of menacing, the police told AFP. According to the US Navy, Rojas served from 2011 to 2014 in Florida, Illinois and South Carolina, during which he was awarded the National Defense Service Medal.
You can watch the video of the crash here:
Initially, there were fears that the accident was terror-related as in bore resemblance to the ones in Nice (France), London and Berlin (Germany). However, police were quick to rule it out on Thursday.