Richard Rojas’s deadly drive through the heart of Times Square may have been a drug-fueled rampage. The man who killed an 18-year-old tourist on May 18 reportedly told officers that he got behind the wheel after smoking PCP-laced marijuana!
The story surrounding the tragic Times Square crash, which left one person dead and 22 people injured, keeps getting more and more unbelievable. If what Richard Rojas, the 26-year-old man behind the wheel of the car that plowed through a crowd of tourists in the busiest part of New York City, wasn’t bad enough, he reportedly did it while completely under the influence of illegal drugs. “I smoked marijuana. I laced the marijuana with PCP,” Richard told cops after he was taken into custody, according to a criminal complaint released on May 19, per the New York Post.
Richard, a resident of the Bronx and a Navy veteran, intentionally steered his Honda Accord into pedestrians, supposedly part of a “suicide by cop.” After he was arrested, Richard reportedly told the officers, “You were supposed to shoot me! I wanted to kill them.” While Richard’s alleged suicide attempt failed, his actions did leave one person dead: 18-year-old Michigan tourist Alyssa Elsman, who was standing in between 42nd and 43rd street with her 13-year-old sister. While Alyssa’s sister is recovering with a broken leg, the young girl was not so lucky, as she died from her injuries.
Since being taken into custody, Richard has been charged with one count of murder, 20 counts of attempted murder and five counts of aggravated vehicular homicide. After he drove into the crowded section of NYC, Richard exited the car and began running around like a maniac. He tested negative for alcohol and earlier reports claim that he told cops that he smoked K2, a synthetic marijuana, and voices inside his head told him to hurt people.
While it’s lucky that more people weren’t killed in this horrific attack, the family of Alyssa Elsman will never be the same after Richard’s heartless decisions. When remembering the young girl, her family said Alyssa was “very, loving” and always looked out for her younger siblings. Her family is “still trying to piece it all together,” as they still can’t believe that their beloved Alyssa is truly dead.
Our thoughts and prayers continue to go out to all those involved in this horrible tragedy.