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What we know so far about Richard Rojas, driver in deadly Times Square crash

Times Square car crash

NEW YORK -- The driver who plowed into a crowd of pedestrians in Times Square, killing one, has been identified as Richard Rojas, 26, a Navy veteran with a criminal record.

Rojas made a U-turn onto a sidewalk in Times Square, according to the New York Police Department. The car traveled on the sidewalk for three blocks, striking and killing Alyssa Elsman, an 18-year-old woman from Michigan. At least 22 others were injured.

Police quickly tackled him and rushed him away from the bloody scene, CBS New York reports.

Police say Rojas was charged with one count of second-degree murder, 20 counts of attempted murder-second degree and five counts of aggravated vehicular homicide, which entails causing the death of one person and causing serious physical injury to at least one more.

Law enforcement sources said Rojas tested negative for alcohol but drug test results were still pending.

Authorities say Rojas does have a criminal record, including multiple DWI charges. A week ago, Rojas was arrested for menacing after he allegedly pulled a kitchen knife on a visitor to his home.

Richard Rojas is escorted from the 7th precinct by New York City Police officers after being processed in connection with the speeding vehicle that struck pedestrians on a sidewalk in Times Square in New York City, on Thu., May 18, 2017. Reuters

In April 2015, he was arrested for DWI in Manhattan and later pleaded guilty to operating a motor vehicle while impaired by alcohol. In August 2008, he was also arrested for DWI in Queens.

Richard Rojas in mugshot from 2013 arrest in Jacksonville, Florida Jacksonville Sheriff's Office/CBS News

Family friends say Rojas has been living in the Bronx with his mother after serving in the armed forces. New York Mayor Bill de Blasio said he is a U.S. citizen and former member of the U.S. Navy.

He served in the Navy from July 2011 to March 2014, CBS News correspondent David Martin reports. He spent two months in military prison in Charleston, South Carolina after being court martialed.

Mayor de Blasio: No indication of terrorism in Times Square crash

"I assumed he got help, but I guess he didn't," said Harrison Ramos, who said he's known Rojas since childhood. "He wasn't a bad person."

He added that Rojas has never been the same after coming home from the Navy.

"He is a family man, a hard worker, a true friend. This hurts, this makes me feel bad this news," neighbor Jose Medrano said.

Officials said there is no indication the incident was terror related.

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