Driver High on Synthetic Marijuana Plows Down Pedestrians in Times Square
Police in New York City arrested 26-year-old Richard Rojas of the Bronx, after officials said, the man who is believed to have been high on synthetic marijuana struck and killed an 18-year-old female and injured several others in Times Square close to noon on May 19, 2017. According to a report in The Daily Mail, Rojas drove along the crowded sidewalk on a busy afternoon crashing his car into pedestrians, killing Alyssa Elsman who was visiting the area from Michigan with her family, and injuring 22 others.
Rojas, who has a history of drunk driving incidents, has been charged with one count of murder, 20 counts of attempted murder and five counts of aggravated vehicular assault. Rojas reportedly told police that he wanted to kill all pedestrians and wanted the police to kill him as well. He tried to flee the scene on foot after crashing his car into a pole. But police and onlookers quickly detained him.
Our heartfelt condolences go out to Alyssa Elsman family. We wish all the victims who were injured the very best for a speedy and complete recovery.
Use of K2 or Synthetic Marijuana
Police believe Rojas, who has multiple DWI convictions, had been smoking K2 or synthetic marijuana before he got in the car. The drug is a synthetic form of cannabis, which is quickly gaining in popularity. K2 or spice as it’s called, is designed to look like marijuana, but is actually a harmful blend of chemicals that has been known to cause erratic and dangerous behavior because it can make those who smoke it immune to pain.
There have been a number of overdose cases involving K2 nationwide and it was also named as the drug smoked by NFL star Aaron Hernandez in his prison cell last month before he killed himself. Police say Rojas was in a state of delusion, which they believe, was brought on by the powerful drug.
Synthetic drugs are easy to obtain and can be bought online or in smoke shops, just as Connor did. Synthetic drugs are sold under a variety of names such as Crazy Clown, Black Mamba, K2 and Spice. Some of the common side effects include agitation, palpitations, racing heart, kidney failure, heart failure, lethargy, profuse vomiting or foaming of the mouth, psychosis, zombie-like states, hallucinations and confusion (to name a few). Our law firm has represented a family that lost their son to this dangerous drug. We encourage everyone to be aware of the serious dangers posed by synthetic marijuana. This tragic and horrific incident in New York is yet another example of the damage this drug can do.