Times Square Crash Driver: “I Wanted to Fix My Life"
Last Thursday, Richard Rojas, drove his Honda Accord onto a sidewalk in Times Square leaving 18-year-old tourist Alyssa Elsman dead and 22 others injured. After being arrested, the 26-year-old told investigators that he was on PCP-laced marijuana during the three-block rampage.
The former Navyman is now reflecting on his mental health while in jail. “I’m not completely sure what’s wrong with me,’’ he told The Post in a jailhouse interview. “I was trying to get help. I wanted to fix my life. I wanted to get a job. Get a girlfriend.”
Rojas, who was charged with second-degree murder, says that he had spoken to a mental health counselor at a local veteran’s center days before the tragedy. When he didn’t receive a call back, he reacted by charging down pedestrians with his car in one of busiest streets in the world.
“I just want to apologize to all the victims’ families,” he said. “I want to apologize to my mom.”
The unemployed Bronx-native went to breakfast with his mother on Thursday morning then recalls wanting to go for a drive but now claims that he doesn’t remember anything else expect waking up in a precinct.
Rojas was driving on Seventh avenue when he suddenly made a U-turn on 42nd street, drove on the sidekick while running over pedestrians until he crashed into a stanchion. He then runs away from the vehicle screaming. “You were supposed to shoot me! I wanted to kill them,” Rojas yelled at the police according to sources.
He faced a judge last Friday and was arraigned on one count of second-degree murder, 20 counts of attempted murder and one count of aggravated vehicular homicide.