New York City: Times Square driver 'heard voices', say law enforcement

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The man who sped his auto onto the busy sidewalk of Times Square was charged with murder after killing an innocent 18-year-old girl with his vehicle on May 18.

Police have named the suspected driver, who was arrested at the scene, as Richard Rojas from NY. VIDEO: Cops walk Times Square suspect from the police precinct: City officials said Rojas has two prior driving-while-intoxicated arrests and other motor vehicle violations on his record.

A smashed vehicle sits on the corner of Broadway and 45th Street in New York's Times Square after driving through a crowd of pedestrians Thursday, May 18, 2017.

The picture that quickly emerged of Rojas from neighbors and authorities was of a man with problems.

The incident sparked jitters after recent deadly car-ramming attacks in London, Berlin and the French city of Nice, but officials said early evidence did not point to a terror link.

Rojas is from the Bronx and has a history of arrests on charges of driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol, O'Neill said.

"He's been going through a real tough time", he said.

Rojas enlisted in 2011 and was an electrician's mate fireman apprentice.

Rojas is a US citizen and former member of the armed services. They don't indicate why. Details were not immediately available. "I don't think there was actually time for screaming".

Police identified the woman killed by the auto as Alyssa Elsman, of Portage, Michigan.

Elsman graduated a year ago from Portage Central High School. "But if you could talk to her for a minute, you'd realize she was engaging".

The deceased is an 18-year-old MI tourist who was visiting the Big Apple with her family, including her 13-year-old sister who was injured, the New York Times reports. Police also charged Rojas with menacing in May of 2017. He will appear in court for his arraignment on May 19, although it's unclear if he'll have a lawyer present.

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