A U-haul truck plowed into people in Brooklyn, hitting at least four individuals, before taking off on a high-speed chase that ended in a man’s arrest on Monday, coincidentally occurring at the same time a jury is deliberating on giving an Islamic extremist life in prison.
(Video Credit: FOX 35 Orlando)
The truck struck at least three people riding mopeds near 5th Avenue and Bay Ridge Parkway at about 11 am in Bay Ridge, according to police. Then he sped off down 4th avenue where he hit a pedestrian.
After that, he got on Gowanus Parkway where officers caught up to him approximately 30 minutes later, three miles away at Columbia Street and Hamilton Avenue in Sunset Park, according to the NYPD.
The man driving the truck is reportedly Weng Sor and is 62 years old. He has no prior arrests according to police. He was arrested and is in custody pending charges.
Although the incident appeared random, police are evidently looking into whether the man was living out of the truck. He had a run-in with police in 2019 for a mental health call, according to sources who spoke with the New York Post.
A man driving a U-Haul went on a rampage in Bay Ridge. He was just apprehended in Sunset Park. Several people were hit and badly injured. We have no idea of motives at this time but this wasn't an accident. Thank you to @NYPD72Pct @NYPD68Pct. I will share more info when I can.
— Justin Brannan (@JustinBrannan) February 13, 2023
The pedestrian who was struck is a man in his 30s. The truck jumped the sidewalk at both locations. He was rushed to Lutheran Hospital where he is in critical condition and fighting for his life, according to police.
The others who were on mopeds sustained minor injuries.
New York City Councilman Justin Brennan, whose district covers Bay Ridge, asserts that it is unclear what sparked the rampage and a motive hasn’t been determined yet.
“A man driving a U-Haul went on a rampage in Bay Ridge… Several people were hit and badly injured. We have no idea of motives at this time but this wasn’t an accident,” he noted according to the New York Post. He also pointed out that the suspect was arrested near the Brooklyn Battery Tunnel.
Brannan claims the number of injured pedestrians is much higher than initially reported, according to The Hill.
“We think he hit at least 6 people with the truck and 2 are in very bad shape,” the councilman said.
**WARNING: Graphic content**
BROOKLYN: WILD VIDEO: Surveillance footage shows the moment pedestrians were struck in Brooklyn. The U-Haul truck can be seen striking a moped driver while one pedestrian manages to jump out of the way. https://t.co/NvFpaN9WTc pic.twitter.com/BNj8xOSE4q
— KolHaolam (@KolHaolam) February 13, 2023
“The police approached this driver and tried to get him to pull over and at that time he said something to the effect of ‘I want to die’ and proceeded to start driving on the sidewalks in Bay Ridge,” Brannan said.
A spokesperson for New York City Mayor Eric Adams announced that the suspect was in custody.
“@NYCMayor has been briefed and has been following developments regarding the UHaul truck that struck multiple pedestrians this AM in Brooklyn. While the suspect is in custody, the NYPD is still investigating. There are no additional credible threats at this time,” Fabien Levy tweeted.
.@NYCMayor has been briefed and has been following developments regarding the UHaul truck that struck multiple pedestrians this AM in Brooklyn.
While the suspect is in custody, the NYPD is still investigating.
There are no additional credible threats at this time.
— Fabien Levy (@Fabien_Levy) February 13, 2023
The NYPD bomb squad searched the U-Haul as a precaution after the man was arrested. It doesn’t appear that they found anything.
The incident occurred as a jury begins deliberating whether Sayfullo Saipov, an Islamic extremist who killed eight people on a New York City bike path in 2017 by hitting them with a truck, should get the death penalty, according to the Associated Press.
It’s not clear whether these incidents are connected but the timing is suspect.
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