When a car dove the wrong way down Broadway in Manhattan yesterday and into a crowd of pedestrians in Tim Square, very few expected the driver to be a Navy vet. Almost everyone who witnessed the attack thought it was terrorist related. One bystander, though, didn’t hesitate. He apprehended the driver and held him for police.
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The crash on Thursday killed one woman. Ken Bradix, 47, was working as a Door Host Supervisor at the Planet Hollywood restaurant near where the Richard Rojas drove over the curb.
After the crash, Rojas tried to run into the crowd. Bradix, though, was on him fast. He tackled Rojas and used his weight to pin him down.
Bradix did an interview with the DailyMail.com after the dust had settled.
“I was in between Planet Hollywood and another store when I saw a car careening up the sidewalk, cross the street and hit a light pole,” he told DailyMail.com
“And the driver got out of the car and was running and screaming. No words, just screams.”
Rojas has a history of drug abuse, and was caught on camera running away from the accident. He wasn’t happy that he’d been captured, either. He is reported to have said “I wanted to kill them, you were supposed to kill me.”
“A traffic agent was yelling, ‘Get him! Get him!'” Bradix remembered. “So me and two other guys caught him and got him to the ground.”
Alpha Balde, a witness of the events, said Bradix “knocked [Rojas] out so bad you could see the blood coming out of his face.”
Blade then helped hold him down. “That’s when I jumped in, I grabbed him from his neck and within about one minute everybody’s there.”
“There were three of us on him,” Bradix said. “He was face down still screaming. So I was laying on top of him on the small of his back and the two other guys were holding down his arms until police could get there.”
Police believe Rojas was high on synthetic pot. Even after the police arrived, and Bradix got off of him, Rojas was hard to control. He attempted to fight one of the arresting officers.
Bradix didn’t have much time to think about his actions during the event, but he’s had time to think now that it is over.
“I walked to 43rd Street and I saw a guy laying on the ground with a tube down his throat and that’s when it started to hit me,” he said. “I wasn’t very emotional but I needed to be alone.”
Does he feel like what he did was heroic? “I think it’s just doing the right thing,” he said. “I was helping the NYPD out and the victims whose families couldn’t be there. And I wasn’t the only person who helped.”
“I mean it’s nice to be appreciated, but you should always try to do the right thing because you never know when you’ll need help.”
“I’m angry and upset at the same time. It’s hard to move past things and you’ll really can’t because I saw this happen right in front of me. It was a terrible sight.”