The Brooklyn U-Haul driver accused of going on a deadly road rampage Monday morning apparently suffered a psychotic break, top police brass revealed Tuesday.
Sixty-two-year-old Weng Sor is the alleged man behind the wheel of the U-Haul, which he turned into a weapon that left one person dead and eight others, including an NYPD officer, injured.
Police believe Sor — who drove the U-Haul all the way from Las Vegas, where he lives — had a psychotic break after engaging in an altercation with his son who lives in the Bay Ridge area.
According to Chief of Detectives James Essig, Sor was stopped by highway patrol police in South Carolina on Feb. 5 for reckless driving and marijuana possession while en route to the Big Apple.
But three days later, on Feb. 8, Sor was stopped by the NYPD, this time on the Belt Parkway after having visited his son. The driver was issued summonses for speeding and operating a commercial vehicle on the Belt Parkway.
Essig said that it wasn’t until Sor says he purportedly saw an invisible object pass toward his vehicle that he decided to run amok through the borough on Feb. 13.
“At that point he says, ‘I have had enough,’” Essig explained, adding that police believe Sor had a death wish while undertaking the massacre. “He does say to the police when he was arrested ‘You should have shot me.’”
The chief of detectives said that Sor has eight prior arrests dating back to 2002, including evading police, domestic battery, battery with a deadly weapon and more in Las Vegas. Sor is now facing charges one count of murder in the second degree and seven counts of attempted murder.
Police Commissioner Keechant Sewell unveiled a detailed timeline of where and when Sor struck on his path of destruction. She also said the incident was a reminder of the NYPD’s need to be ready for any emergency situation that may arise.
“This episode highlights again, the importance of the women and men of the NYPD to be ready at a moment’s notice for absolutely anything, and yesterday they were,” Sewell said.
Sor was led out of the 68th precinct in cuffs by detectives just before 9 p.m. on Tuesday. Sor hung his head and looked haggard as he was placed in the back of an unmarked police vehicle
Timeline of horror
The rampage, police said Tuesday, began in Sunset Park and followed a destructive path through Bay Ridge, into Dyker Heights, back into Bay Ridge and ending outside of Brooklyn Battery Tunnel. This timeline of events provided by police is preliminary and subject to change pending the ongoing investigation.
10:20 a.m.: A 34-year-old victim on a bicycle at 55th Street and Fourth Avenue was struck by the U-Haul, which then fled the scene.
10:27 a.m.: A 33-year-old victim on a bicycle was struck at Senator Street and Fifth Avenue.
10:31 a.m.: A 30-year-old victim was knocked off his bicycle at Bay Ridge Parkway and 7th Avenue.
10:36 a.m.: A 51-year-old victim on a moped was hit on Bay Ridge Parkway and 12th Avenue.
10:50 a.m.: A 44-year-old victim on a moped, who later succumbed to his injuries, was struck at Fifth Avenue and Bay Ridge Parkway.
10: 50 a.m.: A 38-year-old victim on an e-bike was struck and injured at Fifth Avenue and Bay Ridge Parkway.
10:57 a.m.: A 32-year-old victim on a moped was hit by the U-Haul on 72nd Street and Third Avenue.
11:03 a.m.: An officer from the 68th Precinct was injured when the U-Haul rammed into his patrol car at Wakeman Place and Ridge Avenue.
11:05 a.m.: A 67-year-old man was struck in the vicinity of 73rd Street and Third Avenue.
11:24 a.m.: Officer rams patrol car into U-Haul at Hamilton Avenue and Columbia Street, arresting suspect.
Living with trauma
The incident is far more than just shocking images and statistics, as New Yorkers directly involved in the rampage are now struggling to pick up the pieces following the devastation.
Mohamed Abdelmagid, 67, told amNewYork Metro that he is thankful to be alive after getting caught up in the path of destruction near 73rd Street and Third Avenue.
“Thank God I am still alive. I look at my phone, I see the cars coming, it took like a second or two — I thought I would die. He took all the sidewalk,” Abdelmagid recalled. “The ambulance took me to the hospital. The car hit my right leg. I have fractures in my rib cage. Every second I am happy to make it out alive. They gave me 12 x-rays at the hospital. I am happy they caught him.”
Abdelmagid’s son also remembered the harrowing moment he learned that his father was hospitalized.
“It could have been a lot worse — I am thankful it wasn’t. My mom called me and said, ‘Your dad is in the hospital.’ I needed to make sure he was okay,” Omar Ali said.
Another victim, Mohammed Zakaria Salah Rakchi, remains in critical but stable condition at a local hospital, according to Ryan Julison of the Cochran Firm, a law firm representing Rakchi. While Julison could not disclose where the victim was struck, he told amNewYork Metro that Rakchi suffered a broken pelvis and ankle and cracked ribs during the driver’s path of destruction.
A father-of-two in his 30s, Rakchi also suffered a brain hematoma with swelling to the forehead and is currently in a medically induced coma.
The firm says it will be conducting its own individual investigation into the case.
Additional reporting by Robert Pozarycki and Meaghan McGoldrick