Times Square car attack: Bystanders tackled, held driver after car hit 23 pedestrians

Published: Friday, May 19, 2017 @ 10:33 AM

Several Injured, At Least 1 Dead In Times Square Incident

A Planet Hollywood bouncer and a traffic agent jumped into action Thursday after a car plowed into pedestrians near Times Square, tackling the driver and holding him until police could respond, according to multiple reports.

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“I saw a car driving down 7th Avenue on the sidewalk, and it was smoking,” Ken Bradix, who runs security at the Times Square Planet Hollywood, told WNYW. “(The driver) was screaming – no particular words – but he was screaming and flailing his arms in all kinds of directions.”

Ken Bradix, a longtime Planet Hollywood employee, leaves work Thursday, May 18, 2017, in New York, near the site of a deadly car crash in Times Square. Bradix and a sightseeing ticket seller wrestled the fleeing suspect to the ground before police took over. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)(Kathy Willens/AP)

Police confirmed Thursday that police and civilians worked together to apprehend Richard Rojas, 26, a U.S. Navy veteran and Bronx resident.

Police said Rojas hopped his car onto a sidewalk near Times Square on Thursday and traveled three blocks, hitting 23 people before crashing. An 18-year-old tourist visiting from Michigan died in the crash. Her sister, 13, was also injured but authorities said she was expected to recover.

Rojas has a history of drunken-driving arrests. Friends told The New York Times he was dealing with growing paranoia. Law enforcement officials told The Associated Press that Rojas was hearing voices and expected to die.

>> Related: Car strikes pedestrians in Times Square: Latest updates

Rojas tested negative for alcohol, but authorities told the AP detailed drug tests were ongoing.

Photographs emerged Thursday of Rojas appearing to shout near his wrecked car. He ran through the street before he was tackled, The AP reported.

“It was somewhat of a knee-jerk reaction,” Bradix told WNYW. “I did what any civic-minded person would do.”

Rojas was charged Thursday with murder, 20 counts of attempted murder and five counts of aggravated vehicular homicide. He remained jailed Friday.

Pastor runs past firefighters to be with woman who fell down 50 foot cliff

Published: Saturday, October 21, 2017 @ 11:01 PM

A woman in her 70s fell from a 50 foot cliff. (Photo: Fox23.com)
A woman in her 70s fell from a 50 foot cliff. (Photo: Fox23.com)

An older woman is recovering after falling about 50 feet off a cliff in rural Claremore, firefighters said.

A family friend said the woman, who is in her 70s, was dumping out some leaves when she slipped and fell behind her home.

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Multiple agencies spent about 90 minutes rescuing her while a medical helicopter waited nearby.

Firefighters said the woman was alert and talking when she was rescued. She was taken to a Tulsa hospital where she is recovering from bruises, a broken arm and a couple of broken ribs.

Pastor David Mewbourne of Claremore Assembly of God, the woman's pastor of 14 years, said he ran past firefighters and climbed down the cliff to keep her company while they worked on a way to rescue her safely.

Mewbourne said a tree was the only thing that kept her from going into the Verdigris River.


New father accused of selling heroin from maternity ward

Published: Saturday, October 21, 2017 @ 10:24 PM

Cody Hulse. (Photo: WPXI.com)
Cody Hulse. (Photo: WPXI.com)

A new dad is accused of selling heroin from his family's room in the maternity ward.

Cody Hulse's child was born Thursday and police say a few hours later, Hulse was arrested on accusations he was selling heroin out of the maternity ward. 

Only Channel 11 was there as Hulse faced a judge Friday.

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On his way to jail, Channel 11 asked him what he had to say about the allegations.

"I have an addiction problem," Hulse said. "I do." 

Police say they stopped a car on North Main Street and could see heroin bags in plain sight.

They asked the person where they got the drugs, which led officers to Room 511 of the maternity ward of Excela Health Westmoreland. 

They found Hulse inside his girlfriend's room. 

They say he cooperated and told them he sold heroin to people who visited the room earlier that day.

Inside his pocket, police say they found 34 bags of heroin, needles, rubber bands and a spoon. 

Channel 11 contacted Excela Health about the arrest and whether there's anything the hospital can do to prevent something like this from happening again.

A spokesperson told Channel 11, "We appreciate the efforts of the city of Greensburg Police Department. Excela Health's security team works cooperatively with local and state law enforcement on an ongoing basis to help insure our health care is delivered in a safe environment for patients, visitors and employees."

The baby's mother denied knowing he had heroin in the room, but said she knew Hulse had issues with heroin in the past.

Embracing bodies found in national park died in ‘sympathetic murder-suicide’

Published: Saturday, October 21, 2017 @ 10:03 PM

Embracing Bodies Believed To Be Missing Hikers

The bodies of a couple embracing each other discovered at Joshua Tree National Park likely died in a “sympathetic murder-suicide” while they were lost amid the desert’s boiling heat. 

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Rachel Nguyen, 20, and Joseph Orbeso, 22, had been missing for nearly three months after going for a hike in late July. 

Crews spent more than 2,100 hours scouring the rugged terrain before finding their bodies in a canyon Oct. 15.

This combo made from undated photos provided by the National Park Service show Rachel Nguyen, left, and Joseph Orbeso, as they seek the public's help in locating them. The father of Orbeso, a missing California man, says he believes the bodies of his son and his son's girlfriend, Nguyen, have been found in Joshua Tree National Park, Calif., near the area where the couple vanished while hiking nearly three months ago. Officials have not yet confirmed the identities of the bodies discovered Sunday in the desert park. (National Park Service via AP)(AP)

Autopsies found both had gunshot wounds and evidence at the scene led detectives to believe Orbeso shot Nguyen and then himself, the San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department said in a statement Friday.

The bodies were under a tree, with clothing covering their legs to protect them from the sun. They appeared to have been rationing food and had no water.

"We hold no grudges against Joseph or the Orbeso family," Nguyen’s family members said in a statement. "We thank God that we'll be able to give Rachel a proper burial and lay her to rest."

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Hippo photo bombs engagement proposal

Published: Saturday, October 21, 2017 @ 8:42 PM

File photo.  (Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)
Dan Kitwood/Getty Images
File photo. (Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)(Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)

Fiona, the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden’s beloved baby hippopotamus, helped celebrate the engagement of #TeamFiona fans.

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The couple were in line to snap a picture on their one-year anniversary earlier this month when Nick Kelble surprised Hayley Roll by getting down on one knee and proposing while Fiona photo-bombed the special moment at the zoo’s Hippo Cove.

Kelble, a University of Cincinnati student, and Roll, a recent Bowling Green State University grad and radiology tech at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, have loved Fiona from the start, our media partner WCPO-TV in Cincinnati reported.

“We are huge #TeamFiona fans and have been following her since she was born,” Roll said, WCPO reported. “We’re so happy Fiona could be there on our special day. Here’s to many more years of going to zoos with you,” Roll posted on Instagram.

One zoo staff member cropped the photo and quipped that Fiona thinks she’s the one getting engaged. Another said Fiona would need a much bigger ring for one of her toes.