After Times Square attack, calls for more sidewalk barriers

A vehicle that struck pedestrians and later crashed is seen on the sidewalk in Times Square in New York City, May 18, 2017.

"I smoked", Rojas allegedly told an officer after. "I laced the marijuana with PCP", according to the complaint.

"We're now hearing from family members [that Rojas] has had demonstrated mental health issues going back to childhood that. went unaddressed even during the time he was in the USA military", New York Mayor Bill de Blasio told WNYC Radio Friday.

Commissioner Daniel Nigro of the New York Fire Department said all of the injured were transported to local hospitals for treatment.

Mayor Bill de Blasio and O'Neill reassured the public that the incident was not terror-related.

FILE - In this Thursday, May 18, 2017 photo, a auto rests on a security barrier in New York's Times Square after driving through a crowd of pedestrians, injuring at least a dozen people.

In an interview with a local radio station, he said the suspect had "an untreated mental health issue going back probably decades".

And Rojas has two prior DWI arrests and even reportedly attacked someone with a knife, so he's had brushes with the law before.

Investigators are still awaiting toxicology results for the 26-year-old suspect, but officers reported he "had glassy eyes, slurred speech and was unsteady" when arrested.

De Blasio said the driver was a USA citizen and a Navy veteran.

"We don't know the full analysis and whether the type of drugs in his system exacerbated his feelings in a negative way", the mayor told WNYC.

Three people remain hospitalized with critical injuries from the crash.

One person was killed: Ava's sister, Alyssa, who was 18.

Rojas was arrested for drunk driving in 2008 and 2015, and detained earlier this month on charges of menacing behaviour, police said.News reports also drew a portrait of a troubled young man who seemed changed when he returned home in 2014 from a three-year stint in the US Navy.

A half-hour later, Aubry said Rojas was recorded entering Manhattan, and at 11:50 a.m. he was at West 48th Street and Seventh Avenue.

Aubry noted if not for the security devices that already existed - specifically a metal bollard that had stopped Rojas' auto at 45th Street - more lives could have been lost.

One surveillance video showed the auto jump the curb and slam into a group of people, sending bodies tumbling over the hood of the speeding vehicle.

Witnesses described a harrowing scene that started with screeching tires and ended with screams, chaos and a fiery crash at one of the world's most visited sites.

There is no indication of terrorism, officials said.

A federal report found that 173 people have been killed and more than 700 wounded in 17 ramming attacks across the globe.

  • Larry Hoffman