Times Square driver wanted to ‘kill them all’

Ac­cused said he had smoked pot laced with PCP some­time be­fore plow­ing into crowd

The Hamilton Spectator - - CANADA & WORLD - COLLEEN LONG

NEW YORK — A man charged with slam­ming his speed­ing car into pedes­tri­ans in Times Square, killing a teenager and in­jur­ing nearly two dozen peo­ple, said he wanted to “kill them all” and po­lice should have shot him to stop him, a pros­e­cu­tor re­vealed Fri­day.

Richard Ro­jas, 26, also said he had smoked mar­i­juana laced with PCP some­time be­fore mak­ing a Uturn onto the side­walks of the bustling Cross­roads of the World and plow­ing into fright­ened tourists, ac­cord­ing to a crim­i­nal com­plaint.

Of­fi­cials are await­ing tox­i­col­ogy re­sults, though Ro­jas “had glassy eyes, slurred speech and was un­steady,” dur­ing his ar­rest, the com­plaint said.

“He mur­dered in cold blood,” as- sis­tant district at­tor­ney Har­ri­son Sch­weiloch said. Alyssa Els­man, 18, of Portage, Mich., was killed in the crash. Her 13-year-old sis­ter was among the 22 in­jured.

Three peo­ple are in crit­i­cal con­di­tion with se­ri­ous head in­juries, and a fourth is be­ing treated for a col­lapsed lung and bro­ken pelvis, ac­cord­ing to the com­plaint.

A 38-year-old Cana­dian woman is among those hos­pi­tal­ized.

Ro­jas, wear­ing the same red T-shirt and jeans he was pho­tographed in the day ear­lier, ap­peared sub­dued Fri­day dur­ing a brief court ap­pear­ance where pros­e­cu­tors de­tailed mur­der and at­tempted mur­der charges.

He didn’t en­ter a plea and was held with­out bail. Ro­jas’s lawyer, En­rico Demarco, had no com­ment. His fam­ily and friends who at­tend- ed the hear­ing cried out­side court. He will be back in court May 24.

Ro­jas, who lived with his mother in the Bronx, drove his car Thurs­day from his home to Times Square, waited for traf­fic to start mov­ing and then made a U-turn, au­thori- ties said. He bar­relled straight up the side­walk, knock­ing down some pedes­tri­ans as oth­ers ran in ter­ror, be­fore he crashed his car into pro­tec­tive bar­ri­ers.

JEF­FER­SON SIEGEL, THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

Richard Ro­jas, of the Bronx, N.Y., ac­cused of mow­ing down a crowd of Times Square pedes­tri­ans, killing a teenage tourist.

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