Multiple pedestrians were hit by the vehicle and a bicyclist was dragged by the truck on Monday morning.
The incident took place at about 11am at different locations near 5th Avenue and Bay Ridge Parkway, the authorities have said.
Keechant Sewell, the New York City Police Commissioner, said during a press conference on Monday afternoon that there’s no indication that it was terror-related, according to The Independent’s Richard Hall at the scene.
She added that they have seven locations to process in their investigation, adding that eight people have been injured, including a police officer.
“The vehicle that was stopped was stopped as a result of it hitting several people. It came to a rest here behind us,” the commissioner said.
“At this time, we have no indication that there was any terrorism involvement in this incident,” Commissioner Sewell told the assembled press. “However, as always, we will continue to investigate this incident with the full resources of the NYPD and our partners. What we saw today is a clear example why every moment of every day, the NYPD must be prepared for every possibility.”
The commissioner said the NYPD engaged with the vehicle after it struck people, adding that the name and age of the suspect will not be released at this time.
A spokesperson for the New York Fire Department confirmed that eight people have been injured, with two being in critical condition, two in serious condition, and four with minor injuries, NBC reported.
The driver was then arrested near the Brooklyn-Battery tunnel, according to New York councilman Justin Brannan.
He tweeted: “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.”
The truck struck several people after driving onto the sidewalks in Bay Ridge, ABC7 reported.
One of those who were injured was a man in his 30s who was taken to Lutheran Hospital in critical condition. Three men riding mopeds sustained minor injuries after being hit by the truck.
The driver took off down Gowanus Expressway following the crashes and took the exit onto Hamilton Avenue before he was surrounded by police on Columbia Street in Red Hook.
“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,” Mr Brannan said, according to ABC7.
A bomb squad was called to the scene, but nothing suspicious was found. The suspect is a 62-year-old homeless man who may have been living in the U-Haul truck. He was taken to hospital for a psychological evaluation, the outlet reported.
A spokesperson for New York Mayor Eric Adams told ABC7 that he has been briefed on the incident and that “there are no additional credible threats”.
The incident “seemed random, but was obviously on purpose,” Mr Brannon told NY1. “This driver knew what he was doing, knew that he was hitting people.”
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