A bizarre incident led to tragedy in Rockland County on the afternoon of Feb. 20 after a man was accused of running over a family with his car. New York police apprehended the 35-year-old man following a standoff outside of a 7-Eleven convenience store in Haverstraw. The man is charged with murder, with several more charges expected to be filed at a later time. Reportedly, he has retained criminal defense counsel.
According to the unusual report, a family including a 35-year-old man and a 32-year-old woman with several children were outside of the store at the time of the incident. Witnesses reported that the father asked the accused man, who was apparently smoking a cigarette, not to blow smoke in the vicinity of his children. The man then apparently got into his vehicle and rammed the family en masse, striking the building and then backing over the injured parties a second time.
Police arrived on the scene, at which point the man is believed to have drawn a knife and threatened officers before being Tased. The 32-year-old mother was pronounced dead at a hospital nearby, while the father and a 2-year-old child were both taken to a local hospital in serious condition. The other children, ranging in age from 3 months to 10 years old, were also treated for injuries. The man now faces a charge of second degree murder, as well as seven counts of attempted murder. He has entered a plea of not guilty.
Of course, this violent incident is a tragedy for all involved. New York authorities have confirmed a history of violence on his part, and his criminal defense attorney has noted that he had recently lost his job. Whether these factors influenced the man's state of mind at the time of the alleged crime may be further considered by his representation as part of building a meaningful defense to present in court.