A man driving a U-Haul box truck was arrested on Monday after he drove onto sidewalks and hit pedestrians in the Bay Ridge section of Brooklyn, injuring at least eight, the authorities said.
The driver, whom the police had not identified by Monday early afternoon, had been stopped by officers around 10:50 a.m. He tried to evade the officers, the police said, and struck pedestrians and one police vehicle as he fled.
He drove through Bay Ridge before being arrested near Hamilton Avenue and Columbia Street, the police said.
Eight people were injured, two critically, the New York City Fire Department said.
Shortly after the arrest, Justin Brannan, a City Council member who represents the area, said in an interview with NY1 that the incident “seemed random, but was obviously on purpose.”
“This driver knew what he was doing, knew that he was hitting people,” Mr. Brannan said, adding that when the driver was pulled over he told police, “I want to die.”
Staff members of a Coldwell Banker real estate office on the corner of Fifth Avenue and Bay Ridge Avenue said that they had heard a commotion that sounded like a truck dragging something, perhaps a muffler. But when they ran out of the building, they saw a man, who appeared to be in his 30s, lying in the eastbound lanes.
Amanda Perez, 39, an employee of the real-estate agency, called 911 and a volunteer ambulance service several times but couldn’t get through.
“I was shocked,” she said. “It was a horror to see him in that condition and think someone can flee the scene. It’s devastating.”
Mayor Eric Adams’s spokesman, Fabien Levy, said on Twitter that “there are no additional credible threats at this time.”
This is a developing story and will be updated.
Liam Stack contributed reporting.