TIMES SQUARE HOR­ROR

A car bar­rel­ing down a Times Square side­walk killed a young tourist and in­jured 22 oth­ers in a scene of out­rage and panic.

Metro USA (New York) - - Front Page - SAM NE­W­HOUSE @sc­new­house sam.ne­w­house@metro.us Reuters and Kim­berly M. Aquilina contributed to this re­port.

A young woman died and 22 peo­ple were in­jured, four crit­i­cally, af­ter a speed­ing Honda Ac­cord plowed through a pedes­trian-filled side­walk in Times Square just be­fore noon on Thurs­day.

Alyssa Els­man, the 18-year-old woman who died at the scene, was a tourist from Michi­gan, ABC7 re­ported. She grad­u­ated from Portage Central High School last year, the Detroit Free Press re­ported. Her 13-year-old sis­ter was with her and was in­jured in the in­ci­dent.

All of the in­jured vic­tims are ex­pected to sur­vive.

The driver, a 26-yearold male, was iden­ti­fied by authorities as Richard Ro­jas, of the Bronx. Ro­jas at­tempted to flee the scene but was ap­pre­hended first by out­raged cit­i­zens and then by NYPD of­fi­cers. He al­leged ly punched a police of­fi­cer, ABC re­ported. Of­fi­cials be­lieve Ro­jas was high on syn­thetic mar­i­juana, com­monly known as K2. He tested neg­a­tive for al­co­hol, the As­so­ci­ated Press re­ported. “The driver tried to run from the scene, and the bouncer from Planet Hol­ly­wood hit him, so we jumped on top of him and ripped his shirt, wanted to make sure he had no gun or knife on him,” a tour ticket agent told CBS2.

Mayor Bill de Bla­sio said Ro­jas is a vet­eran of the U.S. Navy with a his­tory of two pre­vi­ous drunk-driv­ing ar­rests and a May ar­rest for men­ac­ing.

“Based on the info we have at this mo­ment, there is no in­di­ca­tion that this was an act of ter­ror­ism,” De Bla­sio said at a news con­fer­ence in Times Square af­ter the crash.

Within min­utes of the crash, wit­nesses re­ported on so­cial me­dia that the car had driven onto the side­walk and struck ran­dom passersby be­fore crash­ing against a pole and com­ing to a rest at 45th Street and Broad­way.

The area was shut down by the NYPD, and nearby of­fices in­structed ten­ants to “shel­ter in place.”

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