A massive accident in Times Square today has left one person is dead and at least 22 others injured after a auto plowed through Times Square.
O'Neill identified the suspect as 26-year-old Richard Rojas, describing him as a US citizen and former service member with multiple previous DWI arrests.
The driver, identified as Richard Rojas, a Bronx resident, had two prior DWIs in 2008 and 2015. Police do not suspect a link to terrorism and the driver was taken into custody to be tested for alcohol.
Helpless pedestrians had little time to react as the auto barreled down the sidewalk and through intersections before smashing into a row of steel security barriers installed in recent years to prevent vehicle attacks on the square where massive crowds gather every New Year's Eve.
Here's what we know so far about today's lunch-hour vehicle crash in Times Square. "He didn't stop. He just kept going".
The vehicle came to a stop only after slamming into metal stanchions and hurtling into the air, coming to rest on top of the stanchions, flames emerging from its badly damaged front end.
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"There is no indication that this was an act of terrorism", Mayor of New York, Bill De Blasio, said. He was visibly struggling as police officers caught him and dragged him back to a cop auto.
"I saw a red vehicle driving, the man said, "and he started plowing people over".
"If you didn't know her, you might think she's reserved or shy", school principal Eric Alburtus said.
He told reporters at the scene that Rojas is a US citizen and a former member of the armed forces with the US Navy.
Kenya Bradix, 47, a supervisor at Planet Hollywood, said he was walking back to the restaurant on 45th Street, when he heard screams and saw Rojas' vehicle driving along the sidewalk on the west side of 7th Avenue, heading against traffic.
"I'm the area all the time", she said.
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City authorities were nevertheless deploying extra police from anti-terror units to key locations around the U.S. financial and cultural capital, home to 8.5 million, out of "an abundance of caution", the mayor said. Then, a traffic agent told Bradix to "get".
White House spokesman Sean Spicer said President Trump was made aware of the incident.
Authorities say Richard Rojas was taken into custody Thursday after mowing down 23 people, including a teenager who died. There are many areas where vehicles could be driven onto packed sidewalks or public plazas.
"We were just touring, seeing how handsome Times Square was", Prasad said.
They were reportedly on a family vacation in NY.
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