NEW YORK, N.Y. – New York City police say a Canadian woman remains in very critical condition a day after a speeding car slammed into pedestrians in Times Square in what authorities said was a deliberate attack.
Assistant chief William Aubry says the 38-year-old woman is among seven people still in hospital following the incident in which a teenage tourist was killed and almost two dozen other people injured.
Authorities have provided no further details about the Canadian.
Aubry says three others remain in critical condition with head injuries, while a fourth person was being treated for a collapsed lung and broken pelvis.
A prosecutor says the driver, who faces felony murder charges for plowing into the pedestrians on the sidewalks, told authorities he wanted to “kill them all” and that police should have shot him to stop him.
Police say the man, Richard Rojas, 26, also told responding officers Thursday after he crashed his Honda Accord into protective barriers that he had smoked marijuana laced with PCP — also known as angel dust.
Officials were awaiting toxicology results, though police said Rojas “had glassy eyes, slurred speech, and was unsteady,” during his arrest, according to the complaint.
Rojas, wearing the same red T-shirt and jeans he was wearing when he was arrested, appeared subdued during a brief court appearance Friday where prosecutors detailed a felony murder charge. He didn’t enter a plea.
His lawyer and weeping supporters had no comment. He’s due back in court next week.
Authorities said Rojas drove from the Bronx to Times Square, where he sped into the bustling Crossroads of the World, hitting nearly two dozen people on the sidewalk before steel security barriers finally stopped him.
Alyssa Elsman, 18, a tourist from Portage, Mich., was killed. Her 13-year-old sister was injured.
Rojas enlisted in the Navy in 2011 and was an electrician’s mate fireman apprentice. In 2012, he served aboard the USS Carney, a destroyer. Navy records show that in 2013 he spent two months at a naval prison in Charleston, S.C. They don’t indicate why.
He spent his final months in the navy at the Naval Air Station in Jacksonville, Fla., before being discharged in 2014 as the result of a special court martial, a navy official said.