Brooklyn U-Haul truck strikes multiple people in “violent rampage,” police say

At least eight people were struck by a U-Haul truck during a “violent rampage” in a Brooklyn neighborhood Monday morning, New York City Police Commissioner Keechant Sewell said. Two people suffered critical injuries, Sewell said.

The truck crashed into pedestrians, cyclists and one responding police officer at seven different locations in the Bay Ridge neighborhood, 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 that goes to lower Manhattan after carrying out “a violent rampage through Brooklyn.” Police vehicles and ambulances were seen surrounding the truck that was parked on a sidewalk.

Investigators do not know if the series of attacks was intentional, Sewell told reporters. 

“At this time, we have no indication that there is any terrorism involvement in this incident,” the police commissioner said. “However, as always, we will continue to investigate this incident with the full resources of NYPD.”

All eight of the identified victims were transported to area hospitals for treatment, Sewell said. Two were in critical condition, according to fire officials, while another two had sustained serious injuries. The remaining four people sustained minor injuries, the police commissioner said.

Emergency response crews had rushed to the intersection of Bay Ridge Parkway and 5th Avenue, CBS New York reported, as the station streamed live aerial footage from above the scene.

The U-Haul box truck had evaded a traffic stop near the intersection, the New York Police Department said in an earlier statement to CBS News.

At least one person struck by the U-Haul was a pedestrian, according to the NYPD, which described three other injured individuals as moped operators.

Authorities pursued the U-Haul truck after receiving reports of the vehicle striking people, Sewell said. It was unclear whether the intersection at Bay Ridge Parkway and 5th Avenue was the last site where the truck hit pedestrians.

Police surround a U-Haul truck after multiple people were struck by a vehicle in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn, on Feb. 13, 2023.

CBS New York

The U-Haul driver attempted to flee the scene after the collision before police were able to box in the vehicle several blocks away, CBS New York reported. He allegedly rammed two police cars and temporarily escaped. Officials confirmed that he was arrested shortly after.

Police closed down the area immediately surrounding the Bay Ridge intersection where the incident occurred, and CBS New York reported that the NYPD bomb squad had arrived to examine the U-Haul as a precaution.

New York Governor Kathy Hochul acknowledged what she called the “developing situation” a tweet posted just after 12:30 p.m.

“I have been briefed on the developing situation in Brooklyn,” Hochul wrote. “My team is coordinating with [the New York State Police] and [the NYPD] and are ready to provide any assistance as the investigation continues.”

Fabien Levy, the press secretary for New York City Mayor Eric Adams, additionally confirmed that the mayor was apprised of the incident and the ongoing police investigation.

“@NYCMayor has been briefed and has been following developments regarding the UHaul truck that struck multiple pedestrians this AM in Brooklyn,” Levy wrote in a tweet. Noting that the police probe was still ongoing, he added, “There are no additional credible threats at this time.”

Adams himself has not yet addressed the collision publicly.

Earlier, New York City Councilman Justin Brannan, whose district includes Bay Ridge, responded to the incident in a message shared on Twitter.

“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,” Brannan wrote. In a subsequent tweet, the councilman said that the suspect “was actually arrested near the BK Battery Tunnel,” adding, “at least 6 people” are now suspected to have been hit by the U-Haul, with two “in very bad shape.”

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