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Wednesday, May 25, 2022

Trial will finally begin for the driver who drove tourists down Times Square in 2017

The man behind the wheel of a car drove through a crowd of pedestrians in New York City’s Times Square, killing a woman and injuring 22 others, finally leading to trial after a delay of more than five years , including pandemic-induced court shutdowns.

Initial statements are expected on Monday at the trial of 31-year-old US Navy veteran Richard Rojas, who told police after his arrest that he smoked marijuana with the hallucinogenic drug PCP before plowing through helpless tourists at a Manhattan landmark in 2017. Was doing. Known as the “Crossroads of the Worlds”.

Alyssa Elsman, an 18-year-old from Portage, Michigan, died on an annual family visit. His 13-year-old sister Ava was also among the injured. Jessica Williams of Dunnellon, New Jersey, was so badly hurt that her mother had to accept her high school graduation diploma while she remained in the hospital.

Rojas’ trial in state court in Manhattan is expected to take several months.

Prosecutors say Rojas drove his car from the Bronx, where he lived with his mother, through Times Square on May 18, 2017, then took a U-turn, drove his car onto a sidewalk, and drove three blocks. roared back on the sidewalk. He crashed his car into protective barriers.

Photographers photographed the wild-eyed Rose as she climbed out of the damaged car and ran across the street, waving her hands. According to the National Drug Intelligence Center, PCP, or phencyclidine, can cause users to become delusional, violent, or suicidal.

According to prosecutors, Rojas said he wanted to “kill them all.”

Rojas pleaded not guilty to a crime in 2017 and has since been jailed at New York City’s infamous Rikers Island prison complex. His lawyer said at the time that it was a “terrible thing that happened” in Times Square.

“But how we handle this type of case will determine how decent of society we are,” said defense attorney Enrico DeMarco.

Rojas has several prior criminal cases that paint a picture of a troubled man. Days before the Times Square incident, he pleaded guilty to a charge of harassment at his home in the Bronx for pulling a knife at a notary and accusing the man of trying to steal his identity.

He also had two cases of drunken driving before.

Rojas joined the Navy in 2011 and served for part of 2012 aboard the USS Carney, a destroyer. Rojas spent his final months in the Navy at the Naval Air Station in Jacksonville, Florida.

According to the arrest report, in 2012, he was arrested and charged with beating up a cab driver, whom he said had insulted him by trying to charge too much. The arresting officer said that Rojas shouted, “My life is over!” Since he was being taken into custody. The Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office reports that after the arrest, Rojas told the officer that he was going to kill all police and military police after he was released from prison.

Alan Ceballos, an attorney representing Rojas in that case, said the state’s charges were dropped after the military stepped in to take jurisdiction over the criminal case. Navy records show that in 2013, Rojas spent two months in a naval prison in Charleston, South Carolina. A Navy official said he was discharged in 2014 as a result of a special court martial.

post with wires

World Nation News Deskhttps://www.worldnationnews.com
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