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Police: Accused Times Square Assault Driver Threatened A Notary With A Knife

Police: Accused Times Square Assault Driver Threatened A Notary With A Knife

The world knows Richard Rojas as the man accused of driving his car down a crowded Times Square sidewalk last month, killing one person and injuring a score of others. But a week earlier he was charged with threatening a Notary with a knife, according to police and media reports.

Rojas, a former Navy serviceman, was charged with murder and attempted murder after careening his Honda Accord along more than three blocks of sidewalks in the iconic New York City district on May 18, according to media reports.

On May 11, a mobile Notary came to Rojas’ Bronx apartment to notarize several documents for him. A New York Police Department spokesperson said Rojas allegedly grabbed the Notary by the neck, brandished a knife and said, “Do you feel safe? You stole my identity.”

The Notary was able to get out of the apartment and promptly called the police. Rojas was charged with menacing and criminal possession of a weapon. The New York Times reported that Rojas pleaded guilty to harassment and was released from custody.

This was just one of numerous run-ins with law enforcement Rojas had, and he had shown signs of other mental health issues, the Times reported.

Unfortunately, the Rojas attack isn’t the first time Notaries have been threatened on assignment.  Many Notaries have shared stories with the NNA about angry or threatening signers, ranging from a real estate agent who tried to stop a Notary from leaving to a signer who held a Notary at gunpoint.

Situations like these show why it’s so important for Notaries to take safety precautions while traveling to and from assignments. Precautions such as keeping a mobile phone charged and ready with you and always letting someone know where you have gone are crucial. And Notaries should never put themselves in danger to complete an assignment — if you feel you are at risk, get to safety as soon as possible.

What safety precautions do you take on the job, and do you think Notaries and Signing Agents need to take additional steps to ensure their safety? Let us know what you think in the comments section below.

David Thun is an Associate Editor at the National Notary Association.

 

 

 

5 Comments

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Matt

12 Jun 2017

In some states you can just carry a gun

Tracy

12 Jun 2017

I do have a license to carry a concealed weapon but it in the car for travel. While in the customer's home I have a panic button on my phone that lets my emergency contact know where I am via GPS and also contacts 911. In addition I have a knife that I know how to use in an extreme emergency =) gratefully, in the 17+ years I've been a signing agent I have never had to use any of my precautions.

Audris Hogan

12 Jun 2017

I have a concealed weapons permit and I keep my gun in my car so I pray I never have to use it. People are crazy.

Diane

12 Jun 2017

My husband drives me to the majority of my signings. He is retired and sits in the car listening to talk shows and has his phone with him. I have never had a problem, but I feel safe knowing that if I don't come out or text him within an hour, he will be coming in to get me! He also is a great help since I can text and talk on my cell phone legally while driving thus giving me more time to set appointments.

Diane

12 Jun 2017

My husband drives me to the majority of my signings. He is retired and sits in the car listening to talk shows and has his phone with him. I have never had a problem, but I feel safe knowing that if I don't come out or text him within an hour, he will be coming in to get me! He also is a great help since I can text and talk on my cell phone legally while driving thus giving me more time to set appointments.

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