NEW YORK (AP) — A man driving a U-Haul truck swerved onto sidewalks and plowed into scooter riders in New York City on Monday, injuring multiple people before police were able to pin the careening vehicle against a building following a mileslong pursuit through Brooklyn.
At least eight people were hurt, two critically. The driver was arrested. His son identified him as Weng Sor, 62, a troubled man with a history of harmful behavior and stints behind bars.
The mayhem unfolded over a harrowing hour as the truck tore through Brooklyn’s bustling Bay Ridge neighborhood, hitting people at several points along the way before veering on and off a highway as police gave chase.
Police Commissioner Keechant Sewell described it as a “violent rampage,” but said there was no evidence of “terrorism involvement.”
The truck, rented by Sor in Florida on Feb. 1, traveled a winding route before police stopped it near the entrance to a tunnel leading from Brooklyn to Manhattan, more than 3 miles (5 kilometers) from where the chase began.Weng Sor’s son, Stephen Sor, 30, told The Associated Press that his father had a history of mental illness and, until recently, was living in Las Vegas, where records show he’s been convicted and served time for multiple acts of violence, including stabbing his own brother.
“Very frequently he’ll choose to skip out on his medications and do something like this,” Stephen Sor said in an interview outside his Brooklyn home. “This isn’t the first time he’s been arrested. It’s not the first time he’s gone to jail.”
The destruction shattered the late-morning routine and immediately evoked memories of other vehicle assaults on bikers and pedestrians in the crowded city, including a terrorist’s deadly 2017 attack that killed eight people on a Manhattan bike path and a disturbed motorist’s rampage through Times Square the same year that killed one and injured 20.