BY MARK HALLUM | An indictment for brutal killings of four homeless men in Chinatown, allegedly by Randy Santos, 24, moved forward with an announcement from Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance.
Santos is charged with four counts of murder and two for attempted murder after he allegedly went on a rampage with a metal bar in Chinatown during the early morning hours of Oct. 5, shaking the community and calling attention to the need for better homeless services.
The indictment includes an incident eight days earlier in Chelsea, in which Santos allegedly attempted to kill another man.
“There is perhaps no population more vulnerable to violence than the growing number of unsheltered New Yorkers who lack a safe place to sleep,” Vance said. “As my Office works to secure justice for Cheun Kok, Anthony Mason, Nazario Abdelardo Vazquez Villegas, and a tragically still-unidentified neighbor, our City can further honor their memories by delivering secure housing to all New Yorkers. I offer my heartfelt condolences to the victims’ loved ones as our community begins to heal.”
Surveillance footage allegedly captured Santos in the act of seeing Mason sleeping before fetching a metal bar and returning to bludgeon the man to death, striking him in the head seven times in front of 17 East Broadway. Santos is accused of then crossing the street to 2 East Broadway, where the three other men were sleeping alongside one another.
Using the same weapon, Santos allegedly also began hitting these men, killing Villegas and a man still unidentified almost a month later. One other was injured in this stage of the attacks.
After abandoning the metal bar, Santos allegedly came upon Cheun Kok sleeping near Doyers Street, the DA said. Santos is said to have gone back for the bar he used on the other sleeping men and struck Kok three times before witnesses called 911.
Kok was pronounced dead at the scene, according to the DA. While cops were surveying the scene of Kok’s murder, the survivor of the 2 East Broadway attack came stumbling toward emergency responders, who rushed him to a nearby hospital with serious injuries.
Santos himself was allegedly found while still clutching the murder weapon near Mulberry and Canal Streets, according to the DA, and was arrested by police from the 5th Precinct.
Santos was also identified as the attacker of another sleeping man near Chelsea Piers on Sept. 27, according to Vance. Santos allegedly struck the victim in the head and neck before attempting to throw him over the railing and into the Hudson River.
The defendant, originally from the Bronx, is being represented by Legal Aid Society and the next court appearance does not yet have a date.