NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — The parents of a New Jersey man killed in an act of terror on the West Side bike path on Halloween are bringing new legislation to Washington.
As CBS2’s Ali Bauman reported, they hope to put an end to the types of attacks brought by terrorists.
Eight people died when a rental truck barreled through the West Side bike path for more than a mile on Oct. 31 of last year. Among the victims was Darren Drake, 32, of New Milford.
On Monday, his parents were fighting for new legislation so that their son’s death was not in vain.
“We can’t bring our son back, but if we can provide that other families don’t have to go through the grief of losing a loved one due to a senseless murder, that would be wonderful,” said Drake’s mother, Barbara Drake.
Authorities said the ISIS-inspired suspect, Sayfullo Saipov, rented the weaponized truck from the Passaic Home Depot earlier that day.
Like many rental companies, Home Depot only requires a driver’s license, insurance and a deposit to rent a vehicle.
The Drakes will join U.S. Rep. Josh Gottheimer (D-New Jersey) at the Capitol this week to propose background checks be a mandated addition to that list.
“Requiring all vehicle dealers and rental companies match critical information on individuals against the government terror watch list,” Gottheimer said.
“Imagine going to a gun shop and putting a driver’s license down and a credit card and walking out with a pistol,” said Drake’s father, Jimmy Drake.
According to the legislation, if someone on the FBI terrorist watch list tries renting a van or truck, their name will immediately be flagged and both the rental company and the federal government will be notified.
Even though Saipov was not on the terrorist watch list before the attack, Gottheimer claims he was known to authorities.
Home Depot would not comment on the proposal. But in a new statement, a representative said Home Depot will “continue to work with law enforcement towards safety solutions… regardless of legislation.”
“It’s America that was murdered,” Jimmy Drake said, “not necessarily just our son.”
The Drakes hope the bill, named for their son, will be the answer to truck attacks encouraged and taught by terrorist organization.
Meanwhile Monday, the Drakes were among more than a dozen victims of the attack who filed a lawsuit against New York city and state.
Lawyers for the victims cite the city’s failure to secure the area even after being warned of the possibility of an attack using a vehicle. They claim the attack could have been prevented if barricades had been put up prior.
Saipov was shot by a police officer after his truck hit a school bus. Saipov was indicted in November on murder, attempted murder and supporting a terror group charges.