Crime & Justice

U-Haul van driver injures 8 in New York City

New York, Feb 13 (EFE).- A U-Haul rental van driver injured eight people Monday morning in the New York City borough of Brooklyn, two of whom are listed in critical condition.

The New York City Police Department, however, said there is no indication at the moment that the incident was terrorism-related.

“At this time, we have no indication that there is any terrorism involvement in this incident,” New York City Police Commissioner Keechant Sewell said. “However, as always, we will continue to investigate this incident with the full resources of NYPD.”

One of the injured was a police officer who intervened in a bid to stop the motorist. According to media reports, the alleged driver was arrested on an avenue in another area of Brooklyn following a 30-minute police pursuit.

All eight of the injured were taken to nearby hospitals, while the NYPD is asking for any eyewitnesses to the incident to cooperate with the police investigation.

Sewell said the police are investigating seven separate crime scenes where the different victims were struck by the U-Haul van. She also confirmed that the motorist hit at least one bystander before the police pursuit had begun.

Asked about the driver’s identity, ties to New York City and potential involvement in a previous car-ramming incident in the past, the police commissioner said it was too early in the investigation to provide those answers.

The suspect is a 62-year-old man with no prior arrests, according to the New York Post, which reported that he had “one prior run-in with cops for a mental health call in 2019.”

The incident coincided with the start of the sentencing phase in the trial of Sayfullo Saipov, an immigrant from Uzbekistan who was convicted last month of killing eight people in a 2017 truck-ramming attack carried out on a bike path on Manhattan’s West Side.

Twelve jurors now must decide whether or not to impose capital punishment on Saipov, who will be sentenced to life in prison unless the vote for the death penalty is unanimous. EFE


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