At least eight people were struck by a U-Haul truck in a “violent attack” in the Brooklyn area on Monday morning, New York Police Commissioner Kichant Sewell said. Two people were seriously injured, Sewell said.
The truck struck pedestrians, bicyclists and one police officer at seven different locations in the Bay Ridge area, Sewell told reporters at an afternoon news conference.
During the briefing, Sewell confirmed that the suspected driver was taken into custody near the entrance to the Brooklyn Battery Tunnel, which leads to lower Manhattan, after going on a “violent rampage in Brooklyn.” Police cars and ambulances were seen surrounding the truck, which was parked on the pavement.
Investigators do not know whether the series of attacks was intentional, Sewell told reporters.
“At this point, we have no indication that this incident has anything to do with terrorism,” the police commissioner said. “However, as always, we will continue to investigate this incident with the full resources of the NYPD.”
All eight identified victims were taken to area hospitals for treatment, Sewell said. According to fire officials, two are in critical condition and two others are seriously injured. The other four people suffered minor injuries, the police commissioner said.
Emergency crews rushed to the intersection of Bay Ridge Parkway and 5th Ave. CBS New York reported as the station aired live aerial footage from the scene.
The U-Haul truck evaded a stop near the intersection, the New York Police Department told CBS News in a preliminary statement.
At least one person hit by the U-Haul was a pedestrian, according to the New York City Police Department, who described the other three victims as moped drivers.
Authorities pursued the U-Haul truck after receiving reports of a hit-and-run, Sewell said. It is not yet clear if the intersection of Bay Ridge Parkway and 5th Avenue was the last place where the truck struck pedestrians.
The driver of the U-Haul tried to flee the scene after the collision before police were able to retrieve the vehicle a few blocks away, CBS New York reports. He allegedly rammed two police cars and temporarily escaped. Officials confirmed that he was arrested a short time later.
Police cordoned off the area immediately around the Bay Ridge intersection where the incident occurred, and CBS New York reported that an NYPD squad arrived to examine the U-Haul as a precaution.
New York Gov. Cathy Hochul acknowledged what she called an “evolving situation.” tweet posted after 12:30 p.m
“I have been informed of the development of the situation in Brooklyn,” Hochul wrote. “My team is coordinating with [the New York State Police] and [the NYPD] and is ready to provide any assistance during the investigation.”
Fabien Levy, a spokesman for New York City Mayor Eric Adams, further confirmed that the mayor was aware of the incident and the police investigation.
“@NYCMayor has been informed and following developments regarding the UHaul truck that struck several pedestrians this morning in Brooklyn,” Levy wrote in tweet. Noting that the police investigation is still ongoing, he added: “There are no additional credible threats at this time.”
Adams himself has not yet spoken publicly about the collision.
Earlier, New York City Councilman Justin Brannan, whose district includes Bay Ridge, responded to the incident in a message shared on Twitter.
“The man driving the U-Haul went on a rampage in Bay Ridge. He had just been arrested in Sunset Park. Several people were hit and seriously injured. We do not know the motive at this time, but this was not an accident,” Brannan wrote. In a follow-up tweet, the councilman said the suspect “was in fact arrested near the BK Battery Tunnel,” adding that now “at least 6 people” are suspected to have been injured by the U-Haul, with two “in very bad condition.” .”
This is a developing story. Check for updates.