BY ROBERT POZARYCKI | A 24-year-old homeless man faces four counts of murder for going on a cold-hearted killing spree on the streets of Lower Manhattan Saturday morning.
Police said that Randy Santos, 24, allegedly bludgeoned four homeless men to death with a metal object as they slept along Bowery and East Broadway in Chinatown. He’s also accused of attacking a fifth sleeping man, who survived the assault and is now listed in critical condition.
The New York Post reported that Santos’ rap sheet includes a November 2018 arrest for biting a man’s chest in Midtown and a March 2019 arrest in Queens for groping a woman. Cops had picked him up in May at a Brooklyn shelter, his last known residence, for attacking a man with a metal object, according to the Post.
In an interview with the suspect’s mother, the New York Daily News reported that she had thrown him out of her home three years ago because of a history of violent behavior.
NYPD officials outlined the preliminary details of the case during a press conference Saturday morning at One Police Plaza.
According to Chief Stephen Hughes, commander of Patrol Borough Manhattan South, the 5th Precinct responded to a 911 call of a person being assaulted in front of a Bowery location near Doyers Street at 1:49 a.m. on Oct. 5.
Upon arriving at the scene, police found an unconscious male lying in the street with severe head trauma. Paramedics pronounced him dead at the scene.
The officers were approached at the scene by a second man who also suffered head trauma, Hughes reported. EMS brought him to a local hospital in critical condition.
“Two witnesses said that an unknown male wearing a black jacket and black pants had struck the victim numerous times in the head with metal object,” Hughes said. The witnesses stated that they had seen the perpetrator running westbound along Doyers Street.
Police then dispatched the suspect’s description and began a wider search. Officers later located Ramos, who fit the description, in the vicinity of Mulberry and Canal Streets.
According to Hughes, the individual was seen carrying a metal object believed to have been used in the attacks. Police said the pipe is currently being analyzed by NYPD Crime Scene investigators.
But during the canvass, Hughes noted, cops came across three other bludgeoned homeless men along East Broadway between Chatham Square and Catherine Street.
Each of the victims had severe head trauma and were pronounced dead, Hughes said.
Chief Michael Baldassano, commanding officer of NYPD Detective Bureau Manhattan South, said that the person in custody is also homeless, and that the victims were apparently targeted at random.
“The motive appears to be just random attacks,” he said. “It doesn’t seem that anyone was targeted by race, age or anything of that kind of nature.”
The investigation is ongoing, and police urge anyone who may have witnessed the attack to contact Crime Stoppers at 800-577-TIPS.
This story was updated on Oct. 6 at 1:30 p.m.