NY (1010 WINS/AP) The widow of a bicycle deliveryman gravely injured in Monday’s murderous U-Haul rampage came up Tuesday as the family’s attorney investigates if the NYPD’s pursuit of the truck “triggered” the deranged driver and endangered other victims.
Mohammed Zakaria Salah Rakchi, 36, was in an induced coma Wednesday.
Three years after immigrating from Algeria, Rakchi was attacked while conducting errands after dropping his 7-year-old daughter off at school.
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His wife, Nadjet Tchenar, spoke about her husband from Derek Sells’ office Tuesday, crying.
Tchenar claimed her spouse was a nice father and kind helper. “I’m very sorry.”
During a press appearance on Tuesday, Feb. 14, 2023, in New York, lawyer Derek Sells holds a picture next to Nadjet Tchenar, the wife of Mohammed Zakaria Salah Rakchi, one of the U-Haul rampage victims. AP Photo/Eduardo Munoz Alvarez
Rakchi received major head trauma, a subdural hematoma, several rib and limb fractures, and other injuries.
Sells’ law company is investigating the NYPD’s pursuit of the U-Haul truck.
Sells questioned police pursuit “was a catalyst for this driver’s actions.”
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“When you look at the footage of the accident and you see the high-speed chase, where a police cruiser literally ran up onto a sidewalk,” Sells added.
Weng Sor, 62, was charged with murder on Tuesday.
A man runs out of the way as a U-Haul truck drives onto the sidewalk in Brooklyn on Feb. 13, 2023, in this security video. Jorge Aldaz/AP.
Sor was off his medicines and in a “mental health crisis” during the attack. He said police an “invisible object” approaching the U-Haul vehicle triggered him.
When driving his van, he sees an “invisible object” approach. He declares, “I’ve had enough,” and begins his rampage “Tuesday’s press conference by NYPD Chief of Detectives James Essig. “Nothing.”
The U-Haul hit three moped riders, three bicycle riders, one e-bike rider, and one pedestrian in Bay Ridge, Sunset Park, and Dyker Heights. A 44-year-old moped-riding single father died from a brain injury.
On February 14, 2023, NYPD detectives walk Weng Sor out of the 68th Precinct in Brooklyn. Jeremiah Sor was caught in Red Hook 48 minutes into the rampage after an NYPD cruiser cut off the truck near the Battery Tunnel entrance.
The NYPD’s response and whether the pursuit—which at one point involved a police car driving after the U-Haul up onto the pavement as a guy jumped to safety—put more people in danger have been questioned due to the destruction’s breadth and length.
Sells said his agency will review NYPD car chase policies “to examine whether or not what they did was in accordance with their actual policies.”
The NYPD stops chasing automobiles when the dangers to police and the public “outweigh the danger to the community.”
The NYPD is reviewing its reaction, Commissioner Keechant Sewell said Tuesday.
According to a police timeline, the truck hit Rakchi first. The vehicle hit him at 10:17 a.m. between Fourth Avenue and 55th Street in Sunset Park and drove south to Bay Ridge, where most of the fatalities were recovered.
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It’s unclear when police began pursuing the U-Haul vehicle, but NYPD officials say Sor’s rampage had already begun.
The NYPD shared body camera footage on social media Tuesday showing officers hastily clearing a roadway full of elementary school students near where the U-Haul driver was wreaking havoc.