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Man found Not Responsible for Times Square Vehicle Rampage

FILE- A smashed car sits on the corner of Broadway and 45th Street in New York's Times Square after several were injured when the car was driven into a crowd of pedestrians on May 18, 2017. Richard Rojas, the man behind the wheel of the car that barreled through crowds of pedestrians in New York City's Times Square, killing a woman and injuring 22 other people, is finally headed to trial, Monday, May 9, 2022, after various delays over five years, including pandemic-induced court shutdowns.(AP Photo/Seth Wenig, File)

NEW YORK (AP) — A man who used his car to hit pedestrians in Times Square has been cleared of responsibility because of mental illness.

The verdict came Wednesday at the New York City trial of Richard Rojas. The jury affirmed an insanity defense claiming Rojas was so mentally ill he didn’t know what he was doing during the 2017 attack. It injured 20 people and killed a young tourist.

The judge has said the finding would qualify Rojas an open ended “involuntary mental commitment” instead of a lengthy prison term. He ordered Rojas held while he drafts an examination order, and said there would be a hearing on the matter Thursday.

—Copyright 2022 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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