The incident came as a shock when a car plowed into people on the #sidewalk of #New York Times Square, injuring at least 23 and killing one. Initially, it was believed to be an act of terrorism, and Mayor De Blasio and Police Commissioner James O’Neill rushed to the scene. However, later, during a news conference at the scene, they indicated that it was linked to any terrorist activity: it appears to have been a drug-related crime.

The sequence of events

New York Daily News reports that the suspect, a 26-year-old #navy vet was traveling in his car when he suddenly made a U-turn and the car went onto the sidewalk and plowed into groups of plowed into groups of pedestrians.

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The car finally came to a stop after colliding with barriers and catching fire. A total of nearly two dozen pedestrians were injured, and an 18-year-old girl was killed.

Preliminary findings indicate that the suspect has two prior DWI arrests and it is believed that he was high on drugs and suffered from delusional thoughts. It seems he heard voices speaking to him. Investigators were not able to confirm the type of drug he had used. It could K2 (synthetic marijuana) and that would be known only after carrying out the necessary tests.

He has been charged with murder, 20 counts of attempted murder and five counts of aggravated vehicular homicide. Incidentally, he has a long association with the police. It began in in 2008 in Queens and later in 2015 in Manhattan when he was arrested for driving while impaired.

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His latest brush with the law was on May 11 when he reportedly pulled a knife on a man inside his apartment.

Reasons for such behavior

The suspect was in his late twenties, had seen serving in the Navy and was also into drugs and these make for a heady combination that spells trouble. People in this category learn to suppress their pent up passions and take to drugs as an easy way out.

They are psychological cases and tend to lose all sense of time and place and are unable to differentiate between right and wrong. They suffer from complexes and need counseling because many of them would have lived through experiences that they would never like to relive. To erase those memories, they look for a way out via drugs and end up on the wrong side of the law.

In order to bring such individuals back into the mainstream so that they do not feel isolated, it is necessary for society to take the lead and evolve suitable mechanisms to safeguard everyone.