New York, May 20 (IANS) A US Navy veteran who steered his car into pedestrians in New York’s Times Square has been charged with murder and held without bail, police said.
The order was given to Richard Rojas, 26, at the Manhattan Criminal Court on Friday by Judge Tamiko Amaker, Xinhua news agency reported.
Rojas was arrested at the scene on Thursday which resulted in the death of an 18-year-old tourist Alyssa Elsman, and left 22 others injured.
The New York Police Department charged him late Thursday with one count of second-degree murder, 20 counts of attempted murder, and five counts of aggravated vehicular homicide.
Rojas, who stood handcuffed and did not speak during Friday’s court hearing, told the police: “I wanted to kill them” and said he was high on synthetic marijuana when he was arrested.
Rojas reportedly emerged from his vehicle after the wreck, running, yelling and jumping before being subdued by police and bystanders.
Officials said Rojas had served in the Navy but was discharged in 2014 following disciplinary problems.
He was arrested for driving while intoxicated in 2008 and again in 2015. He was also detained earlier this month for menacing.
However, Rojas’ motivation remains unclear.