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Former Jacksonville Navy sailor arrested in fatal Times Square crash

by: Brittney Donovan, Action News Jax Updated:

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A former sailor who was based in Jacksonville for several years was arrested after police said he drove into a crowd of people in Times Square in New York City, killing one person.

An 18-year-old woman was killed and 22 people were hurt after Richard Rojas crashed his car in Times Square on Thursday, police said.


Latest updates: Car strikes pedestrians in Times Square 


Rojas, 26, was driving a 2009 Honda Accord when he drove onto the sidewalk at West 42nd Street and 7th Avenue, Police Commissioner James O'Neill said.

Rojas is from the Bronx and has a history of arrests on charges of driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol, O'Neill said.

Rojas was stationed at Naval Station Mayport in September 2012 when he was arrested for allegedly beating a cab driver over a $44 fare.

The report said he yelled, "My life is over," when officers pulled him over.

Rojas told the officers he beat the cab driver because the driver said he owed him $162 and disrespected him.

The cab driver told officers that Rojas refused to pay his $44 cab fare.


Man appeared to be intoxicated during fatal Times Square crash


The arrest report said Rojas made threats to kill all police and military police he might see after he was released from jail.

Rojas enlisted in the Navy in September 2011. 

He served at Naval Air Station Jacksonville and Naval Station Mayport from August 2012 to May 2014. He was based in Charleston for two months during that time.