Dominican Richard Rojas, a former US Marine, was driving his vehicle through Times Square on May 18, 2017when he turned to turn onto 42nd streetand, driving against the direction of traffic, got on the sidewalk and ran over about 22 people, and one of them lost his life.
According to what was reported, the young woman who lost her life was Alyssa Elsman, 13, and her sister Ava, 13, was injured, they were on a tourist visit in New York, from Michigan when they were hit. Rojas only stopped her vehicle when she crashed her car into an object, after which she exclaimed to a traffic officer: “I wanted to kill them all!”
Due to the fact, Rojas has been criminally acquitted and will be sent to a psychiatric hospital, after the jury that worked the case accepted the defense’s argument that he was mentally disturbed when he committed the act.
Agencies such as EFE and AP collect the account of the events and the jury’s decision on the Dominican. According to the verdict of the jury, the defendant, Richard Rojas, 31 years old and of Dominican origin, did not know what he was doing because he was psychologically disturbed.
The defense called Rojas’ relatives to testify, who said he had become paranoid after his expulsion from the Navy in 2014.
It was never in doubt that Rojas was behind the wheel of the car that hit the people. Multiple security videos show him getting out of the vehicle afterward. But the judgment was based on whether or not his mental capacity made him responsible for his actions.
In his final argument, the prosecutor acknowledged that Rojas was having a psychotic episode, in which he heard voices, although he assured that he was not completely disconnected from reality because he was able to maneuver the car on the sidewalk and drive it with precision for three blocks, taking in front of everyone who got in the way.
The Defense Department said it dishonorably discharged the Dominican from the United States Navy after he brutally beat up a taxi driver in Florida.