Man who ran over Times Square pedestrians was 'hearing voices'

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Associated Press

A man accused of steering his car onto one of the busiest sidewalks in the US and mowing down pedestrians for three blocks told police he was "hearing voices," law enforcement officials said.

One woman was killed and many others seriously injured in today's horrifying incident in New York.
Source: 1 NEWS

Police said 23 people were struck in the rampage in New York's Times Square, including an 18-year-old tourist from Michigan who died.

The driver, Richard Rojas, a 26-year-old Bronx man who had been discharged from the US Navy following disciplinary problems, told police he was hearing voices and expected to die, two law enforcement officials said.

A row of steel security barriers finally stopped him and he emerged from his wrecked 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. He was swinging his arms at the same time, said Ken Bradix, a security supervisor at a nearby Planet Hollywood restaurant who tackled Rojas.

Rojas initially tested negative for alcohol, but more detailed drug tests were pending, according to two law enforcement officials.

The officials said Rojas told officers he had been hearing voices.

The carnage happened in a part of the city that has long been considered a possible terrorist target because of its large crowds, a concern that became elevated after the September 11 attacks and compounded by recent attacks in England, France and Germany in which vehicles plowed through crowds of pedestrians.

Rojas' motivation was unclear, but Democratic Mayor Bill de Blasio said there was "no indication that this was an act of terrorism".

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