The maniac driver who mowed down pedestrians in Times Square knew he was losing his marbles in the weeks leading up to his senseless rampage, he told The Post during an exclusive jailhouse interview on Saturday.
“I was trying to get help,” a weepy Richard Rojas claimed from Rikers Island. “I wanted to fix my life. I wanted to get a job. Get a girlfriend.”
He insisted he recently spoke to a mental health counselor at a local veteran’s center.
“He said he’d call me on Monday…Monday hasn’t come yet.”
Unable to get the help he claimed to need, the 26-year-old ex-Navyman climbed into his maroon Honda Accord last Thursday and unleashed carnage at the Crossroads of the World, killing an 18-year-old tourist and seriously injuring 22 others.
He drove south along Seventh Avenue, and just before noon, suddenly made a U-turn at West 42nd Street, then accelerated north in the wrong direction, driving along three blocks of pedestrian-clogged sidewalk, slamming into anyone who got in his way.
The vehicle hit a stanchion and turned on its side. Rojas, allegedly high on PCP-laced marijuana, emerged from the driver’s seat.
But he wasn’t done yet. With arms outstretched, he ran from the wrecked car and wildly charged the terrified throng, before finally being subdued.
On his first morning in jail, he said he couldn’t remember a thing about the horror he wrought. Wearing a prison-issue grey jumpsuit with a white t-shirt showing underneath, he spoke deliberately, occasionally staring off into space.
Now on suicide watch, Rojas faces a second-degree murder charge for killing Alyssa Elsman, 18, of Michigan, and 20 counts of attempted murder for his other victims, including four who were critically hurt.