Father of girl killed in Times Square speaks out

by 20/05/2017 06:34:00 0 comments 1 Views
  • Father Thomas Elsman spoke out about the alleged murder of his daughter, Alyssa, by the crazed driver who plowed through a crowd in Times Square
  • Richard Rojas, 26, is charged in her murder, as well as 20 counts of attempted murder 
  • The distraught dad said his daughters had just gotten to Times Square ten minutes before chaos erupted
  • Rojas had a troubled history and allegedly smoked the synthetic marijuana K2 before deliberately running down the crowd
  • Elsman said his younger daughter, Ava, is recovering from surgery and knows about her sister's death
  • He said he could have forgiven Rojas if it had been an accident

By Kiri Blakeley For Dailymail.com

Published: 04:49 BST, 20 May 2017 | Updated: 11:34 BST, 20 May 2017

The father of the young woman killed in Times Square by a drugged-up driver who deliberately mowed down a crowd of people on the sidewalk has spoken out about his shock and heartbreak.

Thomas Elsman's daughters, Alyssa, 18, and Ava, 13, were visiting the Big Apple from Portgage, Michigan and had only been in the tourist mecca for a few minutes when tragedy struck.

'Numb. There's no words. I want to scream,' Elsman told Fox 5. 'I want to not be here. But I have other kids, I know I have to be strong in this.'

'My first born daughter is gone. My heart died in New York yesterday,' he said. 

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Father of victim Alyssa Elsman, Thomas (above) told Fox 5 'My heart died in New York yesterday'
Father of victim Alyssa Elsman, Thomas (above) told Fox 5 'My heart died in New York yesterday'

Father of victim Alyssa Elsman, Thomas (above) told Fox 5 'My heart died in New York yesterday'

The devastated dad said his two young daughters had only arrived in Times Square ten minutes before tragedy struck
The devastated dad said his two young daughters had only arrived in Times Square ten minutes before tragedy struck

The devastated dad said his two young daughters had only arrived in Times Square ten minutes before tragedy struck

Alyssa (above) graduated from high school in 2016
Alyssa (above) graduated from high school in 2016
She and sister Ava, 13, were taking in the sights of Times Square when Rojas plowed through the crowd, allegedly after having smoked synthetic marijuana
She and sister Ava, 13, were taking in the sights of Times Square when Rojas plowed through the crowd, allegedly after having smoked synthetic marijuana

Alyssa (above) graduated from high school in 2016. She and sister Ava, 13, were taking in the sights of Times Square when Rojas plowed through the crowd, allegedly after having smoked synthetic marijuana 

Elsman's younger daughter Ava is still in the hospital with a fractured pelvis, broken leg and a collapsed lung. 'The doctors have been great here,' he said. 'She's recovering and in good spirits.' 

He said Ava has been told about her sister's death. 'She's just as shocked as we are right now,' he said.

'I've always told friends, 'How do you handle the loss of a child?' Now I'm in that same boat.'

Elsman said he didn't want 'to be here' but had to stay strong for his other kids
Elsman said he didn't want 'to be here' but had to stay strong for his other kids

Elsman said he didn't want 'to be here' but had to stay strong for his other kids

Richard Rojas, 26, is accused of deliberately mowing down a crowd of people in Times Square, he is charged with the murder of Alyssa Elsman, 18
Richard Rojas, 26, is accused of deliberately mowing down a crowd of people in Times Square, he is charged with the murder of Alyssa Elsman, 18

Richard Rojas, 26, is accused of deliberately mowing down a crowd of people in Times Square, he is charged with the murder of Alyssa Elsman, 18

A memorial for Alyssa was set up at the scene of the terrifying incident on Thursday
A memorial for Alyssa was set up at the scene of the terrifying incident on Thursday

A memorial for Alyssa was set up at the scene of the terrifying incident on Thursday

He said his daughters loved New York and they would come every year with their mother. 

'This is their third trip out here, they love it,' he said. 'Times Square is her favorite place. There's no words.'

Alyssa had posted an Instagram picture of the scene ten minutes before she was mowed down by Richard Rojas, 26, of the Bronx. The former Navy electrician with a troubled history crashed his maroon Honda Accord into a crowd milling on a sunny spring day.

Rojas was arraigned Friday in court, charged with one count of murder, 20 counts of attempted murder and five of aggravated vehicular homicide

Alyssa was killed and 22 people were injured. Rojas reportedly told cops 'You were supposed to shoot me. I wanted to kill them.'

Law enforcement sources say that Rojas appeared to have smoked the synthetic drug, also known as K2, before to the crash.

Others claimed he was also under the influence of PCP which causes hallucinations and mania. He told police once in custody that God made him carry out the attack, according to sources cited by CNN. 

He left the military in 2014 and never served overseas. He was charged with one count of murder, 20 counts of attempted murder and five of aggravated vehicular homicide.

As for Rojas, Elsman said, 'If it were an accident, I would forgive. The fact that I found out he was on drugs, and also today in court said 'I wanted to kill everyone' and wanted to go suicide by cop, that's intent. He knew what he was doing. And I don't care what happens to him. He could walk into traffic right now and I wouldn't shed a tear.'

'If it's an accident, an old person, a medical emergency, I would forgive. He knew what he was doing. Twelve-and-a-half million people in the city and he hits my daughter.'

Asked to describe his daughter, he teared up before uttering one word, 'Angel.'

Elsman reportedly went to the jail were Rojas was being held after his arrest and threatened to kill him.

Sources told the New York Post that the distraught dad was taken to Bellevue Hospital to calm down.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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