TIMES SQUARE, Manhattan — The man accused of steering his car onto a Times Square sidewalk Thursday and mowing down pedestrians told police he was “hearing voices,” law enforcement, officials said.
Richard Rojas, a 26-year-old Bronx man who had been discharged from the U.S. Navy following disciplinary problems, told police he was hearing voices and expected to die, two law enforcement officials said.
Rojas, who was in custody, was expected to be arraigned Friday.
Police said around noon Rojas drove a Honda at a high rate of speed from West 42nd Street to West 45th Street. His vehicle was stopped by a metal stanchion at West 45th Street. The car appeared to catch fire, as smoke was seen coming up from it.
Police said 23 people were struck, including an 18-year-old tourist from Michigan who died.
On Friday morning, concrete barriers had been placed along the west side of Seventh Avenue between 45th and 42rd streets where the car traveled. The area had reopened to traffic.
After the wreck Thursday, Rojas emerged from his vehicle running, yelling and jumping before being subdued by police and bystanders in a chaotic scene. “He began screaming, no particular words but just utter screaming.