One person was killed and seven others wounded early Sunday after a car slammed onto a crowded sidewalk outside a New York City hookah bar following a knife fight, authorities and witnesses said.
Terrorism was not suspected, and one person was in custody, authorities said. No motive for the mayhem was immediately released.
Two stabbing victims, both in stable condition, may have stabbed each other, police said. One person was killed and at least one person was in critical condition from the crash that followed, police said. A search was underway for a white sedan and its driver.
Officers responded to a 911 call in Queens of an assault in progress at 4:30 a.m., police said on Twitter. A passing motorist, Ozzie Rogers, told the Daily News he saw a woman trying to hold back a combatant outside the bar, and he pulled over to get a closer look.
Moments later, he said, the car came crashing into the scene at about 50 mph.
“The girl is yelling ‘Stop, stop. No, no,’ when this car just comes from nowhere and hits the whole group,” Rogers said. “The bodies went flying. The car was going really fast.”
Witnesses told WCBS-TV that a group of people was leaving the bar when they saw a man beating up another man on the sidewalk. Several people were yelling for the attacker to stop when the witnesses say a car raced down the sidewalk and crashed into group, then fled.
“I saw a couple of kids, just fighting,” said Milagros Urbina, who lives near the scene. “Suddenly I just see the white car driving through the sidewalk. They were all screaming, it was crazy.”
Police said the investigation was continuing, but were quick to tamp down terrorism concerns. On Oct. 31, an Uzbekistan national in a rented pickup plowed through a busy bicycle path near the World Trade Center memorial in Lower Manhattan, killing eight people and wounding a dozen more.
Sayfullo Saipov, 29, then emerged screaming in Arabic and pointing imitation guns before he was shot by police.
“This was an act of terror and a cowardly act of terror,” Mayor de Blasio said after the Halloween day tragedy. “We will respond as we always do. We will be undeterred.”
In May, a Bronx man plowed his car onto a crowded Times Square sidewalk, killing an 18-year-old woman and injuring almost two dozen people. Police claimed Richard Rojas told investigators he had been smoking marijuana and PCP before the crash, and de Blasio said that crash was not a terror strike.
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