Auto mows down Times Square pedestrians; 1 dead

Rojas was arrested Thursday afternoon after he drove his auto for three blocks in Times Square, hitting almost two dozen people before steel security barriers finally stopped him.

A Times Square motorist accused of steering his auto onto one of the busiest sidewalks in the USA and mowing down pedestrians has been charged with murder and 20 counts of attempted murder, police say. "I laced the marijuana with PCP", according to the complaint.

Rojas is charged with one count of second-degree murder, five counts of aggravated vehicular homicide and 20 counts of attempted murder.

The crash caused a young woman's death at the scene and at least 22 people were hurt, New York Mayor Bill de Blasio said.

Police also bolstered security for public gatherings in the wake of attacks in Europe.

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Alyssa Elsman, an 18-year-old tourist from Portage in MI, died in Thursday's crash. "At the root of this.is an untreated mental health issue going back probably decades".

One of the posts eventually helped stop the runaway auto driven by the 26-year-old suspect, Richard Rojas, now charged with murder, attempted murder and vehicular homicide.

Sources said Rojas had two previous DWI arrests - in one case, he was going 90 miles per hour in a 50 miles per hour zone, they said.

"There were some kind of drugs in his system", de Blasio said. "There's still three that are in critical condition and there's one that's very critical". That included the block where the auto killed 18-year-old tourist Alyssa Elsman, even though that stretch of sidewalk was widened in the renovation.

The incident on Thursday, which killed one person, injured 20 others and brought a new sense of vulnerability to New Yorkers and visitors alike, has raised concerns about other safety provisions in a recent $55 million revamp of the area.

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Police identified the woman killed by the vehicle as Alyssa Elsman, of Portage, Michigan.

Results of drug tests on Rojas are expected in the next few days, Aubry said.

The incident appears to have spanned several blocks, with photos posted to Twitter that show the auto on its side at 45th Street and Broadway.

They've since become ubiquitous - some even look like flower planters - though Rosetti cautioned that there is no way to fully fortify a heavily trafficked public place such as Times Square, noting that some people have even called for the elimination of auto traffic in the Crossroads of the World. "Boom!' And everyone just starts running", witness Kristen Boyce told NBC New York on Thursday. It is unclear as to why he exited the Navy, but a friend said that he had been dishonorably discharged, according to the TheNYT.

The mayor told WNYC that the incident did not make city officials consider reconfiguring Times Square further to protect pedestrians.

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