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