By James Lakin | UNITED STATES
(71 RepublicBreaking) On Thursday, Mr. Richard Rojas got behind the wheel of his Honda Accord, drove to Times Square, and drove his vehicle through a protective barrier, killing 1 and injuring 20. Mr. Rojas reported that he thought the world was going to end and went on to state “I wanted to kill those people” to a traffic officer after the accident, according to a criminal complaint filed by the State of New York. Mr. Rojas has been charged with 1 count of first degree murder and 20 counts of attempted murder. Mr Rojas’s attorney and his crying supporters declined to comment on the matter.
He has been prone to mental health issues and violent outbursts throughout his life, though he never sought treatment for these issues. He also, after returning from the navy, grew increasingly unstable. He reportedly has had multiple run-ins with the law. In one of these instances he threatened to kill an officer. His friends told him to stop with the conspiracy theories and he reportedly got hostile with them and resorted to physical violence, Furthermore, he claimed, and drug tests substantiated, that he was on laced THC, which is linked to violent outbursts such as the one displayed during this incident.
Mr. Rojas drove for nearly three blocks and consistently hit people until he hit a security barrier. Security barriers were recently installed in Times Square to prevent instances like this. In the last year there have been several ISIL inspired car attacks against citizens, with the attack in Nice, France being one of the most prominent. This barrier may have saved New York from dozens of casulties that could have incured as a result of Mr. Rojas’s rampage.
As a result of this incident a question arises; how safe is Times Square? Prior to New Years Eve Mayor DeBlasio called it “the safest venue in the world”. Does this still stand to be true if an intoxicated man was able to cause so much harm? And with recent threats by ISIL does more need to be done? When asked how safe she felt at Times Square, New Yorker Sonia Marinez, 69, told the New York Times “Not at all. I’m so scared walking there. I’m always looking over my shoulder.” This is a question that will need to be evaluated by numerous law enforcement agencies to ensure the safety of citizen in the day and age this is.