Rampaging driver strikes Times Square pedestrians

By WILLIAM HENNELLY in New York | chinadaily.com.cn | 2017-05-19 06:18

Rampaging driver strikes Times Square pedestrians

Police investigate the scene where a vehicle was driven onto a sidewalk and struck pedestrians in Times Square in New York, US, May 18, 2017. [Photo by Calvin Zhou/China Daily]

The body of a young woman identified as Alyssa Elsman, 18, a visitor from Portage, Michigan, lay covered with a bloodstained sheet at 43rd Street. Her 13-year-old sister also was injured. A police officer kept vigil nearby, sadly shaking his head. Shoes were scattered on the sidewalk.

After the crash, the driver climbed out of the car and began to run away, witnesses and police said.

Ken Bradix, a bouncer at Planet Hollywood, punched him to get him to stop, according to Alpha Balde, a sightseeing-ticket seller.

"The bouncer from Planet Hollywood knocked him out," Balde told the New York Daily News. "He knocked him out so bad you could see the blood coming out of his face. That's when I jumped in, I grabbed him from his neck and within about one minute everybody's there."

Balde said he and Bradix jumped on top of Rojas, tearing his shirt to make sure he had no weapons, holding him until police arrived moments later.

"I ripped off his shirt," Balde said. "You have to make sure this guy doesn't have anything under his shirt that's going to damage you. So I ripped the shirt to find out no gun, no knife, no belt."

Rampaging driver strikes Times Square pedestrians

A man who police said was the suspected driver of a car which crashed into a crowd on Times Square, is led out of the NYPD Midtown South precinct in New York, US, May 18, 2017. [Photo/Agencies]

He fought with officers who then handcuffed him, authorities said.

Planet Hollywood said Bradix "selflessly and heroically took action, helping to stop the fleeing suspect".

The New York Police Department has a station right in Times Square, at 43rd Street and Seventh Avenue, so the response to the incident was almost instantaneous.

The streets around Times Square are heavily patrolled by police, some on horseback. Many sidewalks are lined with barricades and planters to deter vehicle attacks.

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