USA

Times Square deadly collision does not seem act of terrorism: NYC Police

Times Square deadly collision does not seem act of terrorism: NYC Police

A man who appeared intoxicated drove his auto the wrong way up a Times Square street Thursday and plowed into pedestrians on the sidewalk, killing one and injuring about 20 others, authorities and witnesses said.

Police say a 26-year-old U.S. Navy veteran with two prior arrests for driving while intoxicated has been taken in custody after his vehicle plowed into 23 pedestrians in Times Square, killing one of them. Rojas had been arrested at least twice previously for driving while intoxicated, once in 2008 and once in 2015, police said.

Rojas initially tested negative for alcohol, but more detailed testing was being done to determine if he was high, according to two law enforcement officials who were not authorized to speak publicly and spoke to The Associated Press on the condition of anonymity.

A auto sped onto a crowded Times Square sidewalk shortly before noon killing an 18-year-old woman.

Smoke was coming out of the car's hood and the vehicle was slightly overturned on a barrier at a sidewalk in Times Square.

Police say the 26-year-old Navy veteran was arrested last week after he pointed a knife at a notary and accused the notary of stealing his identity. "He didn't stop. He just kept going", he said.

"There is no indication that this was an act of terrorism", Mayor of New York, Bill De Blasio, said. He was combative with officers who handcuffed him, authorities said.

"He's a United States citizen and a former member of the armed forces with the United States Navy", the mayor said.

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"You know what the traffic is like here, it's quite congested".

Around 11:55 a.m., police say a 2009 Honda Accord "mounted" the sidewalk at W. 42nd St. & 7th Avenue, striking a total of 23 people.

He said that out of an "abundance of caution", security across key locations around the city will be stepped up and major sites in the city will get additional police coverage from the anti-terror units.

"People just got stunned", he said.

White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer said US President Donald Trump "has been made aware" of the incident. He was in custody, and it wasn't clear if he had an attorney yet who could comment on his behalf.

That network of barricades, though, is far from a complete defense.

Firefighters said the accident took place at 45th Street and Broadway in Times Square at the start of the lunch hour.

They were reportedly on a family vacation in NY.


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