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Terrorism ruled out after vehicle rams pedestrians in Times Square

19 Mai 2017

The New York Post, citing police sources, reported that the driver drove the wrong way up Seventh Avenue for up to three blocks, before crashing into a pole at 45th Street and Broadway.

"Times Square, we got a auto running people over on 42-7, going northbound on 7th ave, running people over", one NYPD dispatcher said, according to audio clips from Broadcastify.

Police say he drove his vehicle for three blocks in Times Square, hitting almost two dozen people before steel security barriers finally stopped him. An 18-year-old tourist from MI died at the scene, officials said.

Two law enforcement officials say Rojas told police he was hearing voices and expected to die.

After the wreck he emerged from his vehicle running, yelling and jumping before being subdued by police and bystanders in a chaotic scene. The auto appeared to catch fire, as smoke was seen coming up from it. Witnesses said the driver appeared to intentionally drive into a group of people, but police are still investigating the motive. The officials weren't authorized to speak publicly and spoke to The Associated Press on the condition of anonymity. Watch an interview with one of the witnesses: Here is video showing the scene: NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio and Gov. Andrew Cuomo went to the scene and met with officials.

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Richard does not have a clean past, and just one week ago, he was arrested for pointing a knife at a notary.

The incident sparked jitters after recent deadly car-ramming attacks in London, Berlin and the French city of Nice, but officials said early evidence did not point to a terror link.

Rojas was arrested on charges of driving while intoxicated in 2008 and 2015, Police Commissioner James O'Neill said, losing his licence for 90 days. In 2012 he served aboard the U.S.S. Police also charged Rojas with menacing in May of 2017.

It's unclear if Rojas has a lawyer for his arraignment Friday.

Terrorism ruled out after vehicle rams pedestrians in Times Square