Homeless man arraigned for beating deaths in Chinatown

NEW YORK (AP) – A homeless man who used a metal rod to bludgeon four other homeless men to death in New York City was arrested holding the murder weapon covered with blood and hair, and admitted that he was the person in a video of one of the attacks, prosecutors said last Sunday.

Randy Santos was arraigned on charges of murder and attempted murder for the bloody rampage that happened last Saturday in Manhattan’s Chinatown. He did not enter a plea and was ordered held without bail.

A fifth homeless man who was injured in the attacks remained hospitalised in critical condition last Sunday.

The 24-year-old Santos was carrying a metal rod covered with blood and hair when he was arrested near the scene of the attacks, prosecutors said.

They said Santos was shown video of one of the attacks while being interrogated by police and he acknowledged that he was the person in the video with a long metal object.

Santos underwent a psychiatric evaluation after his arrest, police said. Santos used a Spanish interpreter in court. His defence team did not comment. He is due back in court on October 11.

The attacks left blood splattered on the doorways and sidewalks where the men had been sleeping.

The area where the rampage occurred includes the Bowery, which has long been a location where those living on the streets have made their night time resting area. The city’s Department of Social Services said the area is canvassed twice a week by homeless outreach workers. The department will increase the frequency of the visits, a representative said.

Police identified one of the victims as an 83-year-old man and haven’t released other information on the victims yet.

Police officers escort Randy Rodriguez Santos from the Fifth Precinct to a vehicle bound for a hospital for evidence collection, in New York. PHOTO: AP