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Suspect in deadly Brooklyn U-Haul incident arraigned on 25-count indictment

<i>Stefan Jeremiah/AP</i><br/>Detectives walk Weng Sor
Stefan Jeremiah/AP
Detectives walk Weng Sor

By Rob Frehse and Zoe Sottile, CNN

A man accused of driving a rental truck into people in New York City this year — killing one and injuring others — was arraigned in court Monday on a 25-count indictment that includes a murder charge, the Brooklyn district attorney’s office said.

Weng Sor, 62, is charged with murder, attempted murder and assault, according to court documents.

A not-guilty plea was entered in court Monday on Sor’s behalf, his public defender, Andrew Friedman, told CNN.

Sor, of Las Vegas, was driving a U-Haul truck on February 13 and hit people as he fled to evade a traffic stop in New York’s Brooklyn borough, police have said. Prosecutors allege Sor hit the people — cyclists and at least one pedestrian — intentionally, the district attorney’s office says.

A 44-year-old died of his injuries, and eight other people including a police officer were injured, New York Chief of Detectives James Essig has said.

An officer was injured by a bike that was being dragged by the truck, the district attorney’s office said.

“This was a terrifying incident in which we allege that an innocent pedestrian and numerous cyclists were intentionally targeted and mowed down by this defendant, including a father of three who did not survive his injuries,” Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez said Monday. “We will now seek to bring the defendant to justice and to keep the streets of Brooklyn safe.”

The person who died was YiJie Ye, a father of three who was riding an e-bike and working for a food delivery serve when he was struck, the district attorney’s office said.

Injuries to the others included rib fractures, a pelvic fracture and injuries to the head, ankle and knee, and several victims required surgery, the district attorney’s office said.

Sor lived in Las Vegas with his mother and traveled to Florida on February 1, where he rented a U-Haul, police have said.

The suspect’s ex-wife and son live in Brooklyn and Sor stopped at their residence twice before the February 13 incident to shower, police have said. The second time, he had “an altercation with his son,” Essig has said.

“Based on interviews with his family members and confirmed when interrogated by members of the New York City detective bureau, we believe Mr. Sor was suffering from a mental health crisis,” Essig said in February. “At this time, there is no nexus to terrorism.”

Sor is being held without opportunity for bail and is expected back in court on May 31, prosecutors said.

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CNN’s Celina Tebor and Zenebou Sylla contributed to this report.

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