Times Square car crash: Man, accused of killing teenager, says he was trying to get psychiatric help

A man accused of mowing down pedestrians in Times Square, killing an American teenage tourist and injuring 22 others, said he had been trying to get psychiatric help, but counselors never got back to him.

AP May 22, 2017 09:05:38 IST
Times Square car crash: Man, accused of killing teenager, says he was trying to get psychiatric help

New York: A man accused of mowing down pedestrians in Times Square, killing a teenage Michigan tourist and injuring 22 others, said he had been trying to get psychiatric help.

Times Square car crash Man accused of killing teenager says he was trying to get psychiatric help

File photo of the car resting on security barriers after the crash. AP.

In a jailhouse interview on Saturday, Richard Rojas told the New York Post that he recently spoke to a mental health counselor at a local veteran's centre, but they never got back to him. "I was trying to get help," Rojas told the newspaper from Rikers Island, New York City's main jail complex. "I just want to apologise to all the victims' families ... I want to apologise to my mom," Rojas said tearfully during the interview.

He added, "I wanted to fix my life. I wanted to get a job. Get a girlfriend."

"The last thing I remember is driving in my car," Rojas recalled. "Then, I woke up in the precinct ... I was terrified."

Rojas, who lived with his mother in the Bronx, drove his car Thursday through Times Square, then made a U-turn and steered his car onto a sidewalk, plowing through helpless tourists for three blocks before crashing into protective barriers, police said.

After he was detained, he said he wanted to "kill them all" and that police should have shot him to stop him, a prosecutor said at his court appearance on Friday.

They said Rojas also admitted to smoking marijuana laced with phencyclidine (PCP) sometime before the crash. Officials are awaiting toxicology reports.

 

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