NEW YORK – Authorities have encountered no evidence of terrorism in Thursday’s deadly car crash in New York’s Times Square, the city’s mayor said.
“Based on the information we have at this moment, there is no indication that this was an act of terrorism,” Mayor Bill de Blasio told a press conference, confirming that one person was killed and 22 others injured in the incident.
Though it appears the crash was an accident, the New York Police Department is beefing up security at points across the Big Apple, the mayor said.
The driver of the speeding car that ploughed into pedestrians in busy Times Square is under arrest, De Blasio said, describing the individual as a US citizen and US Navy veteran.
Joining the mayor in front of reporters was Police Commissioner James P. O’Neill, who identified the perpetrator as 26-year-old Richard Rojas, a city resident with a record of previous arrests for driving while intoxicated.
Four of the 22 people injured remain in critical condition at area hospitals, but are expected to survive, Fire Commissioner Daniel Nigro said.
An eyewitness to the crash, Hamid el Hamed, told EFE that the car entered the square from the south side at high speed and ran over a number of people before colliding with a light pole.