Times Square car attack: Bystanders tackled, held driver after car hit 23 pedestrians


A Planet Hollywood bouncer and a traffic agent jumped into action Thursday after a car plowed into pedestrians near Times Square, tackling the driver and holding him until police could respond, according to multiple reports.

>> Read more trending news

“I saw a car driving down 7th Avenue on the sidewalk, and it was smoking,” Ken Bradix, who runs security at the Times Square Planet Hollywood, told WNYW. “(The driver) was screaming – no particular words – but he was screaming and flailing his arms in all kinds of directions.”

Police confirmed Thursday that police and civilians worked together to apprehend Richard Rojas, 26, a U.S. Navy veteran and Bronx resident.

Police said Rojas hopped his car onto a sidewalk near Times Square on Thursday and traveled three blocks, hitting 23 people before crashing. An 18-year-old tourist visiting from Michigan died in the crash. Her sister, 13, was also injured but authorities said she was expected to recover.

Rojas has a history of drunken-driving arrests. Friends told The New York Times he was dealing with growing paranoia. Law enforcement officials told The Associated Press that Rojas was hearing voices and expected to die.

>> Related: Car strikes pedestrians in Times Square: Latest updates

Rojas tested negative for alcohol, but authorities told the AP detailed drug tests were ongoing.

Photographs emerged Thursday of Rojas appearing to shout near his wrecked car. He ran through the street before he was tackled, The AP reported.

“It was somewhat of a knee-jerk reaction,” Bradix told WNYW. “I did what any civic-minded person would do.”

Rojas was charged Thursday with murder, 20 counts of attempted murder and five counts of aggravated vehicular homicide. He remained jailed Friday.


Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Nation & World

Hurricane Maria: Live updates
Hurricane Maria: Live updates

Hurricane Maria is bearing down on the Caribbean and is set to pass over much the same area devastated by Hurricane Irma nearly two weeks ago. >> Read more trending news 
Football players under 12 at high risk of brain injury, study finds
Football players under 12 at high risk of brain injury, study finds

A new Boston University study published Tuesday found a single season of youth football can change a child's brain. The findings focused on children 12 and under and, according to the study, those first 12 years of a child's life are critical to brain development. That’s why any damage – no matter how small – could mean health...
8-year-old football players kneel during national anthem in protest
8-year-old football players kneel during national anthem in protest

Every player from an 8-and-under football team in Belleville, Illinois, took a knee in protest during the national anthem before their game on Saturday, according to KTVI. “One of the kids asked me if I saw (people) protesting and rioting in St. Louis. I said yes; I said, ‘Do you know why they are doing it?'” said Coach...
Doctor realizes she's going into labor after delivering patient's baby
Doctor realizes she's going into labor after delivering patient's baby

In the early morning hours of July 28, Dr. Emily Jacobs noticed that her own water had broken just after delivering a third baby during her shift -- taking her from the role of doctor to patient. "I noticed what I thought was amniotic fluid of the patient as the baby was delivering. It wasn't until I left the room when I realized that it was my...
These are the 'Most Dangerous' celebrities on the internet, according to a new survey
These are the 'Most Dangerous' celebrities on the internet, according to a new survey

What do Avril Lavigne, Bruno Mars, Beyonce, Sean “P. Diddy” Combs and Katy Perry have in common? Besides fame, that is? They’re “dangerous” online — at least according to McAfee, the cybersecurity company, who tracks and ranks celebrities based on the search results for their name. Using Google, Bing and Yahoo...
More Stories