The “crazed” Times Square driver responsible for killing a teen tourist and injuring others has been indicted on his charges.
May 18th was a chaotic day in Times Square that left 23 pedestrians injured and one 18-year old teen dead. Richard Rojas is the one to blame for this saddening event. Rojas was traveling down Seventh Avenue in Manhattan and made an abrupt U-turn where he then drove the wrong way from 42nd to 45th Street. According to The Washington Post, while Rojas had the intention to kill everyone that he came in contact with, he was driving while intoxicated which could have led to his impaired judgement and irrational thinking. Apparently, he had been smoking marijuana that was laced with the PCP, which is known to alter your mood.
But, as investigators looked more into who Rojas was and his background, it would appear this isn’t Rojas’ only encounter with the law. In fact, he had been charged with DWI several times before. Back in 2008, he lost his driving privileges for three months after he refused to take a breathalyzer test in Queens, New York. In 2015, Rojas pleaded guilty to drunken driving charges and faced another loss of driving privileges for six months and a $500 fine. He was also required to attend a drinking-and driving program. The judge who oversaw his case is now being scrutinized, though, as she may have “let him off too easy.”
In his original charges, he was expected to be required to have an ignition interlock device placed inside his vehicle but Judge Melissa Crane removed that order “when she noticed in his paperwork that he had completed a “favorable assessment” meant for intoxicated driving offenders” according to the New York Daily News.
Did Rojas Get Off Easy After Being Arrested for Two DWI’s in New York?
This is a question many are posing simply because most DWI offenders face much harsher penalties when they commit the same crime more than once. Rojas, being a second-time offender, was able to have his penalties reduced which now has many wondering if harsher ones might have discouraged him from engaging in the act again. Whether Rojas was represented by a well-versed New York DWI defense lawyer or not, he may have lucked out when he went before Crane.
Rojas is currently awaiting his arraignment that is set for sometime in July, however, the jury has indicted him on his charges. He will have his opportunity to enter his plea during his arraignment or have his New York DWI attorney representing him supply an explanation for the crime in the event he had elected to hire one.
Rojas is currently facing charges for second-degree murder along with attempted murder and may be facing the consequences for driving while impaired. This time, Rojas may not be as lucky as he was when he had Judge Melissa Crane overseeing his case as many have been affected by this irresponsible act committed.