Pros­e­cu­tor: Times Square driver wanted to ‘kill them all’

Sun Sentinel Broward Edition - - NATION & WORLD - By 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 U-turn onto the side­walks of the bustling Cross­roads of the World and plow­ing straight ahead 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,” As­sis­tant 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.

Ro­jas 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’ lawyer, En­rico De­marco, had no com­ment. His fam­ily and friends who at­tended the hear­ing cried out­side court and didn’t speak to re­porters. His next court ap­pear­ance is Wed­nes­day.

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, au­thor­i­ties said. He bar­reled straight up the side­walk, knock­ing down some pedes­tri­ans as oth­ers ran in ter­ror, be­fore he crashed his car into pro­tec­tive bar­ri­ers.


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